Introducing the Twinning project

In 2019, the Bedford Arts and Cultural Education (BACE) group are launching an innovative and collaborative leadership initiative that bridges the two sectors of arts and education, for the collective good of Bedford’s children and young people.

Based on the concept of  ‘twin towns’, the Twinning project addresses the current challenges around educational participation and engagement in culture by matching local cultural providers with schools. These “twins” will then be supported to work together to develop and deliver cultural opportunities for young people within an appointed host school.

Who is involved?

Eight schools have been carefully selected and twinned with eight cultural providers, including The Higgins, The Philharmonia Orchestra and Full House Theatre.

The Culture Challenge has provided Culture Vouchers to all partners taking part, with each school allocated over £1000 to enable their students to access the cultural offerings in Bedford via our Directory of Cultural Providers. This is therefore an excellent time to bring your offering to school up to date, knowing they will be looking to work with local Providers in the coming months. Also, find out more about our Speed Dating event we have planned for 26th February and register your interest.

Kayte Judge, project manager of the BACE Twinning Project  explains that “there are a number of challenges that schools come up against when seeking to provide cultural experiences for their students, the BACE Twinning Project serves to bridge this gap by building a working relationship between schools and cultural organisations, with an aim to creating outstanding cultural opportunities for children and young people. We believe that all children and young people are entitled to a broad and rich education that includes giving them access to arts and cultural learning experiences, as well as developing the creative skills needed for their future. This project, the first from BACE, has been designed to develop leadership in both the education and cultural sectors and to provide practical support in delivering high quality creative and cultural experiences for learners. This is foremost a collaborative endeavor between the sectors, and one I am delighted to be part of.”

The project launched on 9th January with our eight creative professionals meeting their twinned school. As well as an introduction to the project, all participants  participated in a design workshop based on the simple metaphor of Venn Diagrams to explore the benefits of coming together and sharing insights to create something truly special that will no doubt see the young people benefiting from this exciting collaboration.