LONDON, UK.- The Government today made a commitment that, within the next ten years, no child will leave school without having had access to high quality arts and culture. Creative Sparks, a key part of the Culture Department's Five Year Plan for the nation's artistic and creative life, aims to deliver that commitment.
As an example of what this will look like in practical terms, by the time they reach 16, all children and young people might be able to say that they have:
Performed music 'live' to an audience;
Made their own individual piece of art work;
Taken part – on or offstage – in a theatre production;
Visited an art gallery or museum, a library, an historic building and an archive and made use of the resources there;
Written and read aloud their own original piece of creative writing; and
Created their own piece of media art, or commented on others'.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said:
"Creativity will be at the heart of this nation's success in the future. Already it accounts for around eight per cent of our GDP, and is the fastest creator of jobs in the whole economy. The Government is determined to ensure that our young people get the best possible preparation for this bright future. Where they live, or their social circumstances, must not be allowed to hold them back. We want that spark of creativity that lives in every child to be recognised and nurtured.
"Through ground-breaking programmes such as Creative Partnership and Renaissance in the Regions, we are firing the imagination and releasing the potential of more and more of our young people. But we are determined to do more, building on those programmes to deliver a universal offer.
Creative Sparks is that promise: a commitment by the Government to help prepare young people for the future, and to bring out the best in their creativity and imagination."
The offer is already well underway, and we aim to be further ahead by the end of the five year plan period. It will not be a uniform tick-list, the same across the whole country, but the principle will be the same everywhere: creativity is our future, Creative Sparks will provide chances for young people grasp it.
Tessa Jowell concluded: "We know our promise will be hard to bring about, but the pay-off will be great. Record investment in the arts and education provides a firm foundation for growth – the next five years will see this bear fruit."