How to find new young members and audiences as an Arts Award Supporter

Arts Award is a range of qualifications provided by Trinity College that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world. This resource looks at why this could be a useful scheme for Making Music members to know about, and how to best interact with it as an Arts Award Supporter.

Why should Making Music members know about Arts Award?

  • Arts Award could bring you into contact with schools and youth groups offering the award to young people.
  • It could give you a meaningful way to interact with community groups you might not normally interact with.
  • It could result in young people taking the Award knowing about, and eventually joining your group.
  • It could result in them talking to their parents about your group, and parents might come and join you.
  • It could be a way of increasing your profile within the community.

How does Arts Award work?

Arts Award is a bit like an arts version of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. It operates at 5 different levels:

  • Discover (introductory level for anyone up to the age of 25)
  • Explore (aged 7+, and an Entry Level 3 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF))
  • Bronze (aged 11-25, Level 1 on RQF)
  • Silver (aged 14-25, Level 2 RQF)
  • Gold (aged 16-25, Level 3 RQF and recognised on the UCAS Tariff)

Young people up to the age of 25 can take part. There are 2 different types of organisation that they will work with as they go through the Award: Arts Award Centres and Arts Award Supporters.

What is an Arts Award Centre?

An Arts Award Centre is an organisation that works directly with young people supporting them through the Award accreditation process. Arts Award Centres could include youth organisations, schools, or large arts organisations, and would have a nominated person (an Arts Award Advisor) who has completed training and will support young people through the Award.

What is an Arts Award Supporter?

Any organisation that offers opportunities that could enable young people to learn about and engage with the arts as part of their Arts Award. You don’t need to take part in training to be an Arts Award Supporter. Making Music members are perfect examples of the kinds of organisations that could become Arts Award Supporters. There is more information about becoming an Arts Award Supporter in this explanatory video

How do you become an Arts Award Supporter, and does it cost any money?

It’s totally free to become an Arts Award Supporter. You can sign up on the Arts Award Supporter website here – it’s quick and easy to do. Here is a handy Arts Award Starter Kit to walk you through it.

How to tailor the Arts Award Supporter role to fit with your group

There are a number of different offers you could make to young people doing their Arts Award. For example you could:

  • Invite a group of young people to attend a concert
  • Get a young person to talk to a musician to find out about how they got to do what they do
  • Get a young person to design concert flyers or programmes
  • Get a young person to redesign a website

Arts Award is offering free 1-2-1 consultations via the phone or Skype to help Making Music members develop their Arts Award Supporter offers. If you would like to book a consultation, email

How to make the most of being an Arts Award Supporter

The best way to get the most out of being an Arts Award Supporter is to reach out and contact local Arts Award Centres, and the Arts Award Advisors that work within them. Make sure they are aware of you and the brilliant opportunities you can offer their young people. Don’t just assume that because you’ve written a profile of what you have to offer online, that they will find it, and sit waiting for them to contact you. This might happen, but you’ll get much more out of the programme if you are the proactive one!

How to find your local Arts Award Centres

Use the online search function:

You can use the search facility in 2 ways. Either

  1. Click on the map near to where your group is based, or

  2. Enter the first couple of letters of your postcode in the postcode search box. Don’t enter your whole postcode, as this will only find centres that match your exact postcode. Eg using the Making Music London office postcode (SE1 2EL) throws up no results. Using just SE1 throws up 29. Note however that there might be nearer centres to you, just in another post code zone (for example, SE1 postcodes are included in the results, but EC1, a neighbouring post code area, are not, so you may need to do multiple post code searches)

Once you have run your search, you can copy and paste the results into an Excel spreadsheet, and that will allow you to see specific named contacts at each of the Centres.

Get in touch and introduce yourself and your group – ask about the levels of Arts Award that are being run at that centre and explore how you may be able to tailor your offer to young people taking the award there.

Using Arts Award’s Voice Mag, a youth-led online magazine, to promote events, workshops, opportunities and get people to review events.

In summary, in terms of attracting younger members to join your group, signing up as an Arts Award supporter is more likely to be a slow burner than to result in a sudden surge in young members.

If a more pressing priority is about getting younger members to join your group, you may want to check out our resources on recruiting and retaining younger members, and where to find younger members. However, over 67,000 young people completed an Arts Award in 2016/17, so becoming an Arts Award Supporter is an excellent way of reaching out and engaging with new groups in the community, and one which might well result in an increase in membership with time.

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.