An independent school in Birmingham has launched a free arts event for schoolchildren across the UK to celebrate the positive impact the arts can have on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
King Edward VI High School For Girls, a member of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), will offer access to teaching and careers resources from leading arts professionals in a one-day event named TuneUp Tuesday, which will take place on 24 November.
Open to primary and secondary school children, there will be a morning online assembly featuring former BBC Young Musician, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and streamable performances throughout the day from Shakespeare’s Globe, the Young Vic, Cirque du Soleil and more.
There will also be colouring, puppet shows, communication workshops and explorations of set exam texts. The school hopes the resources, which have been provided in partnership with the GSA, will demonstrate that careers in the arts are “worthwhile, valuable and viable”.
Children have been through so much and the arts industry has suffered considerably from lockdown, we wanted to do something to celebrate the tremendous healing power of the arts and uplift everyone – Kirsty von Malaisé, King Edward VI High School For Girls
The initiative has been led by King Edward VI High School’s principal, musician Kirsty von Malaisé, and director of drama and former puppeteer, Hannah Proops.
Malaisé said: “Children have been through so much and the arts industry has suffered considerably from lockdown, we wanted to do something to celebrate the tremendous healing power of the arts and uplift everyone.
“As soon as we started approaching arts organisations, we were bowled over by their generosity and enthusiasm to volunteer their time and resources, and realised we probably had a national event on our hands.
“With restrictions imposed on many school extra-curricular activities in this second lockdown, we really hope the free lesson-based sessions will give schools and young people something to celebrate.”
An Arts Council study, Be Creative Be Well, found that arts and culture can improve self-esteem, combat depression and increase feelings of community. Young people from low-income households who take part in arts activities in school are three times more likely to get a degree.
Find out more and register at www.tuneup.life