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Where we are... is a UK-wide national programme for young people aged 16–24 that co-designs and co-delivers meaningful local projects in arts and culture.
Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and covering costs for all involved, the programme aims to engage young people who are under-served in the museum sector.
How it works
Running from 2021–2025, Where we are... will be delivered through a collaborative partnership between the British Museum, a local museum (or cultural organisation), a third sector organisation (charity, community group, social enterprise etc.) and young people.
The programme will annually invite museums and third sector organisations from all over the UK to pair together and apply to become a Key Partner.
Each year, these Key Partners will shape the development and delivery of local arts and cultural projects and will be critical to the recruitment of young people into the programme. These co-designed projects will be unique to their locality, responding to a community need identified by the young people.
The programme aims to:
- Remove some of the barriers to engagement that young people face within the cultural sector.
- Create a sense of agency in young people that can be reflected into their communities.
What is a Key Partner?
A Key Partner consists of both a museum or cultural organisation and a third sector organisation working together to shape the development and delivery of the Where we are...programme.
The programme proposes new ways of working with national Key Partners, where decision-making is shared between the British Museum and the partner organisations. We would like to partner with organisations that recognise the many benefits that young people can offer, and ideally those who have worked collaboratively in a co-design process with young people.
Organisations from anywhere in the UK can apply to become our three Key Partners. With the support of the British Museum, each Key Partner will locally manage the recruitment of 10 young people and the co-production of a youth-led arts or cultural project.
We welcome submissions from museums of all types including natural history, science, technology, history and arts. Likewise, we welcome submissions from any registered third sector organisation that works with young people – there's no need to be an arts or cultural organisation to apply.
If applying as a museum or cultural organisation, you must include which local third sector organisation you propose to work with and vice versa. It will be best if you've approached them first before sending us your application.
Applications to become a Key Partner for 2022 are now closed.
Please check back to find out more about the work of our 2022 Key Partners with young people and for details of our 2023 partner recruitment.
Recruiting young people
The programme aims to engage 10 young people per project (a total of 30 young people) each year to lead on the development and delivery of local arts or cultural projects. Where we are... provides young people with a range of experiences including project management, communication, creative problem-solving and networking. It also connects young people to a network of creative youth across the UK.
The first cohort of young people will be recruited through our three Key Partners in June–August 2022. Their time and expenses will be fully covered, with a £30 stipend per session plus up to £10 for expenses.
We're looking for young people who:
- Are aged 16–24 of any background or experience.
- Live anywhere in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland).
- Are willing and able to commit to approximately six months (an approximate participation time of 40 hours) for the co-production of local arts or cultural projects. There'll be flexibility in this time commitment depending on the young people and partner organisations.
- Are under-served in the museum sector. This includes, but is not limited to, young people who identify themselves as: LGBTQIA+; from working class backgrounds; neurodivergent; disabled; having a migrant or refugee experience; from African Diaspora; from South, East and South East Asian diaspora; and/or ethnically diverse.
Those with no prior knowledge, interest, or experience in museums, galleries or the arts will be warmly welcomed.
Young people creative projects 2021
Edinburgh is Not the Royal Mile
Ten young people in partnership with Edinburgh Young Carers and Museums & Galleries Edinburgh spent three months working on a creative response to their experience of Edinburgh city centre. The group created a virtual reality experience that took the viewer on a journey from a spot on the Royal Mile, a historic street at the heart of the Scottish capital, to a part of Edinburgh special to each young person. As a legacy, the project created 10 postcards that present an image of the young people's favourite places.
See Me As Me
See Me As Me
In partnership with Attenborough Arts Centre and Pedestrian, 12 young people from Leicester who identify as LGBTQ+ explored activism and social justice through making art. Their creative responses spanned poetry, drawing, music, ceramics, photography, filmmaking and performance. These were presented in a multidisciplinary display titled See Me As Me at the Attenborough Arts Centre on 4 December 2021.