Artis | What a year it has been!


At Artis we have been pausing for thought and reflecting on the year gone by and all the fantastic achievements we have made as an organisation. This academic year has been another transformational year with incredible stories of children whose communication, confidence and participation has dramatically developed through the ongoing support of our professional performing arts educators, or as we know them, Artis Specialists.

Bringing the Curriculum to Life in Schools

Artis Learning is our ongoing programme in schools. Artis Specialists deliver weekly performing arts sessions linked to the primary curriculum.

This year:

  • 13,716 hours of weekly performing arts sessions delivered every in schools
  • 11,430 children engaged in weekly wellbeing and learning programmes
  • 3,542 hours mentoring and training provided to our 96 specialists
  • 962 people viewed our video about creative mental health and wellbeing for children.
  • 22,685 views of our video content – equates to 23 days, 6 hours, 24 minutes and 30 seconds over the year!


Off the Canvas!

We were pleased to secure funding from the City of London Corporation’s Inspiring London through Culture grant for a series of creative workshops in the gallery next academic year. Off the Canvas! is a free workshop for 1,800 children across the country to experience the beautiful exhibition space of the Guildhall Art Gallery and explore Victorian London through the performing arts led by our experienced Artis Specialists. You can see some of the resources made for this programme here.

Off the Canvas



Two of our Artis partner schools also secured funding from the SHINE Trust to support their Artis provision over three academic years. SHINE is an educational charity with a mission to raise the attainment of children from low income homes across the North of England. Artis has been working at Parklands Primary School in Leeds and Pennine Way Primary School in Cumbria to bring the curriculum to life through music, drama and dance.

“We have seen a monumental difference in the pupils engagement and participation with Artis sessions that are not seen in the classroom lessons. One pupil had never even spoken until during an Artis session in which she articulated quite clearly in front of the entire class. She listens, follows instructions, and anticipates repeated activities, all of which did not seem possible through classroom assessments.”

Anthony Wilkinson, Parklands Primary School


Promoting wellbeing and tackling social issues

Artis Bounce

Last year Artis developed our Bounce programme that uses music, drama and movement to explore wellbeing with children. Using creative approaches, we introduce the topic of mental health to schools and use arts activities to understand emotions and feelings, and how to talk about how we express ourselves and relate to one another.


This year Artis is extremely pleased to have won the Performing Arts and Music award in the inaugural National Creative Learning Awards for our You, Me, Together creative mental health project and film which supported 150 children and young people in Milton Keynes.

You, Me, Together Award


We were also lucky enough to be invited to speak at a number of conferences on this topic this year, including the Young People, Arts and Mental Health at the University of Leeds Cultural Institute and at the Educating Creatively Conference at the Storyhouse in Chester.

Due to the success of this project Artis was also funded by Artswork, the South East Arts Council bridge organisation, to run the programme in a further 10 schools in summer 2020. This programme, called Schools Connect, also focuses on upskilling teachers and sharing creative approaches to support wellbeing in the classroom.

Artis is also pleased to have won Arts Council National Lottery project funding for a 2019/20 project in the Midlands called Discover Wellbeing. The programme will take place in five West Midlands primary schools in areas of deprivation and use music, drama and movement to support children’s mental health and wellbeing and help them gain the Arts Award Discover qualification

We were excited to have been invited to share our Artis Bounce resources on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s charity website, Mentally Healthy Schools. The resources offer teachers creative ideas to explore the topic of mental health and to give ideas for “check-ins” and arts activities that support wellbeing.


Nurturing Artists as Educators

This year 21 talented performing artists were recruited to join Artis Foundation’s panel of Artis Specialists and undergo our training programme. In January our mid-year training took place in Manchester and London. Sessions included African dance, Dalcroze: a method for teaching music, and a skills set in paper puppetry. There was also online training in November 2018 and April 2019.

The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, was home once again to our annual summer residential main training. Our 21 new specialists were inducted and participated in some intensive and informative sessions alongside our continuing specialists. It was an excellent few days with plenty of time to share experiences and knowledge between artists  and gain new ideas and skills. We were delighted to welcome Carl Smith, Founder member of  STOMP, to join our summer training on the last day with a musical and physical workshop.


Advocating the importance of arts in learning

In November 2018 Artis celebrated the launch year of the Foundation with a fantastic event at LIFT in London. The event included speakers from across the arts and cultural sector as well as a wonderful speech from Lynne Gavin, Headteacher at Artis Partner School, Pakeman Primary School.

This year the Artis Foundation also welcome a new Patron, esteemed actor and director, Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Kwame Kwei-Armah

“I truly believe in that, because the arts hold the power to reflect, to motivate and to bring us to our highest possible selves. Without the arts we are but two dimensions.”

Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artis Patron


We were also pleased to be invited to join the RSA Evidence Champions Network as a network of arts organisations committed to improving and sharing their evaluation. This year we have been focusing on evaluation so that we can better share the impact of Artis’ work in schools.

This year many of our partner schools measured children’s progress in three areas, confidence, communication, and participation, at three points in the year. 66 children’s progress were tracked from 11 schools.

Some highlight stats from this year have been:

  • 73% of children had a perceived increase in their confidence
  • 70% of children had a perceived increase in participation in Artis sessions
  • 65% of children had a perceived increase in their communication skills.


We look forward to the year ahead and reporting back on the exciting developments and partnerships made in 2020. Looking ahead, we continue to be deeply committed to reaching more children who are missing out on high quality arts opportunities, especially in deprived areas across the country.


Click here to view a copy of the Artis Annual Report 2018-19

13 Apr 2020

Registered Charity Number 1174635