Arts Award @ The YMCA

Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it’s creative, valuable and accessible.

Arts Award can be achieved at five levels, four qualifications and an introductory award. Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. The programme develops their creativity, leadership and communication skills.

Open to anyone aged up to 25, Arts Award embraces all interests and backgrounds. Through working towards an award young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment.

YMCA Scarborough runs the Arts Award programme as part of a weekly session on a Wednesday evening from 4pm – 6pm. The sessions include arts workshops, theatre trips, masterclasses with industry professionals and much more – everything required to succeed in Arts Award. We also encourage the use of other arts activities as part of a young person’s Arts Award journey.

Due to the nature of Arts Award, we enrol new young people onto the activity at three points throughout the year.

If you would be interested in joining Arts Award in the future, please contact the YMCA Scarborough on 01723 374227 or email

You can complete an application form available from the YMCA, and we will be in touch.

You can also download an application form here:

Arts Award Application Form

An overview of Arts Award – by Fleur (one of YMCA’s young people)

What is it about? 
Arts Award is a qualification for anyone who is interested in any types of art forms. There are four parts: Arts Participant, Being The Audience, Arts Inspiration and Skills Share. To be able to pass Arts Award you have to collect evidence. Evidence is key! For example: take photos, videos, voice recordings, collect theatre programmes or tickets etc. If students are using Arts Box  they upload photos and videos and write a brief explanation, this is simple and fun.

Part A: Arts as a Participant
Experiencing the arts as a participant is lots of fun to enjoy with others. You must have: coordination, teamwork, listening and speaking skills. At YMCA we take part in workshops led by other students and masterclasses by professional artists. We make sure we have our evidence and we evaluate it as a group. Arts participation outside of Arts Award sessions is also welcomed in an Arts Award Arts Log.

Part B: Arts as an Audience Member
Being a member of the audience is about watching other people’s work and evaluating it. This will not be the same for every person because it’s all opinion, however it can be discussed in groups. It’s good to tell other people your opinion and listen to theirs in return. Our group visited the Stephen Joseph Theatre to see a production of Hamlet. The next week we discussed it in groups. We included in our Arts Logs tickets, leaflets and our personal review (which we also shared with the group). You could also use things that you have seen in your spare time with friends or family but make sure you have enough evidence.

Part C: Arts Inspiration
This is where you pick an arts professional that you really admire and share to the group why you like them so much, including a few basic facts about them and photos. You also have to say where you found the information from. If you have been to a concert of theirs include tickets. You also have to listen to the rest of the group talk about their inspiration so you can understand. By the end of the session you should know who most of the people in the room look up to and a little bit about them. They don’t have to be a celebrity just someone who has motivated / inspired you.

Part D: Arts Skills Share
Sharing to the group can sound difficult at first, some people struggled while others found it easy because they were used to it. For the people participating it is easy to make someone feel intimidated so you must let them feel confident and listen to what they are saying. Skills share can be anything (as long as it’s an arts form) that you’re good at. Include in your arts log your planning and what other people thought of your workshop. Make sure you give clear instructions to the activity and make it fun! Be confident as the leader. Normally when we do a workshop we do an evaluation where the leader asks us questions and we talk about how it went.

Arts Award can sound scary but it’s heaps of fun.

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