The Astonishing Success of Summer Arts Colleges.
In 2004, TiPP was invited to collaborate in the development of one of the first Arts Enrichment Programmes. The Arts Enrichment Programmes were a product of the strategic relationship between Arts Council England and the Youth Justice Board, and aimed to blend participatory arts practice with literacy and numeracy teaching. These programmes went on to form the backbone of the immensely successful Summer Arts College initiative, developed and managed by Unitas.
Summer Arts Colleges are three week long, full time arts projects for young people considered to be at high risk of re-offending. Each College is a partnership between a local Youth Offending Service and a team of experienced participatory artists. TiPP played a central role in the development of the Arts College model, piloting one of the first Colleges in West Manchester in 2007 and acting as artistic consultants to Unitas through the projects formative years and national roll-out. You can read more about the programme here.
Between 2007 and 2018, TiPP delivered 26 Summer Arts Colleges, working with Youth Offending Teams in Manchester, Salford, Tameside, Blackpool, Wrexham, Trafford, Liverpool, and Knowsley. In addition, TiPP's Director has visited Colleges the length and breadth of England and Wales, providing support and advice and working as a arts quality assessor for Unitas.
In 2019 we ran colleges in Sheffield, Oldham, Stockport and in Barton Moss Secure Care Centre. The Youth Offending Teams in Oldham and Stockport asked us to work on the theme of knife crime. Taking our inspiration from The Knife Angel the young people worked with a welder and sculptor to design sculptures out of knives that had been confiscated by the police. You can see the results in the images to the right. After watching Stormzy perform in a Banksy designed stab vest at Glastonbury, we asked the police if we could have half a dozen decommissioned stab vests that were repurposed as pieces of art.
Summer Arts Colleges have been subject to detailed, ongoing evaluation ever since they first started. The results of the evaluation of the first five years of the Colleges were published in the Unitas publication, The Art of Engagement? TiPP's key role in the Colleges is acknowledged in the forward of the report and our Director, Simon Ruding, was invited to speak at at the launch in the House of Commons in 2015.