May 2022 newsletter

May 2022 news

ACA Chair, Vicky Ireland, recently spoke at a Westminster Forums Project conference on ‘Next steps for funding in the creative industries’. She was asked to speak after pointing out that there was no speaker representing the arts for children.

During his summary, it was positive that the session Chair Professor Christopher Smith - Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UKRI – acknowledged: "We need to get our schools to prize creativity for the sake of our children, which will deliver skills through into university and further education that will create a rich ecosystem for SMEs. This will allow us to perform nationally and internationally which will bring cultural, economic and social wellbeing for people at every stage of their life and every part of the UK."

You can find Vicky’s full speech on our website here.

Earlier in the month we held a successful Members’ networking event via Zoom, with a talk from Place2Be on ‘Art as a tool to support children’s mental health’. Many thanks to Rebecca Wilkinson-Quinn and Cara Verkerk for hosting this. The presentation is available to view and download here. If you are interested in attending future Member events, these are one of the benefits of becoming a member of ACA.

Young children’s theatre company Oily Cart, in collaboration with Independent Arts Projects, are touring their interactive show Sound Symphony. A playful journey through sound and music, the show celebrates making music your own way and is responsive to each audience member, allowing them to become co-composers in their own symphony of sounds. All the sounds in this show have been created with professional musicians and Autistic young people.

Sound Symphony is at venues around England and Scotland until 26 June. Venue information and tickets are available on their website.

Oily Cart also have a new interactive website for Autistic young people to create their own symphonies, and be conductors in charge of their own orchestra of weird and wonderful sounds. Visit their website to start the music and make some noise!

Children’s Dance Theatre Peut-Être Theatre have created Audiomoves, a podcast for little ones to move to! These short accessible podcasts are designed to encourage children to move, dance and use their imagination with a screen-free activity. They are available on their website as well as SpotifyiTunesSoundcloud and YouTube

Peut-Être are are also holding a free online training event supporting primary teachers to run dance sessions for years 1 to 4. This CPD training is aimed at teachers with limited experience of teaching dance, to support running a range of dance sessions developing children’s imagination, movement and storytelling.

Tuesday 21 June, 4 – 5pm (Zoom). To sign up to the CPD, please fill out this form or email

Congratulations to Half Moon Theatre whose digital production of Dust, a co-production with Z-arts, recently won the OnComm Award for Best Theatre for Children Aged 5-11 at The Offies, the Off West End Theatre Awards.

Written by acclaimed award-winning children’s author Laura Dockrill, Dust used exquisite poetic language to explore a heartfelt story about love, loss, identity and memory. With haunting music by Hugo White of The Maccabees, this striking and emotional play was a joyous reminder about just how playful the world can be.

The show is still available to watch via Half Moon’s On Demand service of digital theatre shows for young people, which allows audiences to watch productions whenever you want, wherever you want, and as many times as you like for 48 hours. The live-recorded film of Dust has closed captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences and is also available with British Sign Language.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre is working with schools across Scarborough on a year-long Early Years Foundation Stage project aimed at increasing the children’s enjoyment of music and reading, and developing their vocabulary, speech and language using arts-based activities.

The theatre’s OutReach team is running weekly half-day sessions with reception classes (children aged four and five) in five local schools. Funded by the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area, the scheme sees practitioner Alice Kynman running fun music and language sessions with 224 children each week.

Opportunity Area board member Jane Pepper says:
“This project is about helping the youngest children in our schools to develop confidence in expressing themselves through music and creative play. It has enabled all the children to benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of a drama and music specialist, working alongside teachers and teaching assistants in reception classes.  It’s been a really positive collaboration between schools and the Stephen Joseph Theatre supported by Opportunity Area funding.”

All the children are participating in Arts Award Discover, which will see them receive a certificate at the end of year-long scheme. To find out more about how you can support projects like this, please contact

The European Film Club is an ambitious new programme of the European Film Academy, co-created by and for young people across Europe. It plans to build a diverse catalogue of films chosen by young people to watch and discuss online and in person, as well as opportunities to learn about, make and share their own short films.

2022’s Young Audience Summit will take place in Berlin on 19 June, and is being organised around the theme of representation - how European film reflects and represents young people, shapes identity and a sense of European culture.

It was disappointing to learn that the Big Jubilee Read – a list of 70 books that celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee – did not contain any books for children. We were delighted when children’s reading charity Book Trust put together a list of 12 brilliant books about the Queen or featuring royal characters, to help young children celebrate, which can be seen on their website. Please share!

2022’s Oscars Book Prize – an annual award for the best under-fives book of the year – was won by Chris Haughton for his mischief and humour-filled book Maybe…

Seeing off competition from 128 eligible entries, the story follows the inadvisable exploits of some mango-loving primates as they dabble with danger and mischief - all in the name of fruit.

Publish by Walker Books, you can support local, independent bookshop by buying ‘Maybe…’ (and many, many other books for that matter!) from


May 2022 newsletter

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