What we do

We collaborate with creative professionals, educators, and youth workers. These individuals are empowered to influence and transform those around them, and the organisations that they work with. Schools and colleges, cultural institutions, and youth organisations go on to have an impact in their place and the agencies they collaborate with. This results in long-term systemic transformation across society.

We do this by

  • Innovating in the field of cultural education
  • Investing in a culturally diverse workforce in education
  • Influencing cultural education partnerships, plans and policies.
: Innovating in the field of cultural education Investing in an education workforce that is culturally diverse influencing partnerships, plans, and policies related to cultural education. To make this happen, we secure funding for targeted interventions,  and utilise it to develop training programmes that are scalable and can be offered across the country, resulting in the greatest possible impact from our assistance.

We tackle unequeal access to creativity and culture for children and young people

Curious Minds is an ambitious charity that works strategically to create and improve opportunities for children and young people to experience brilliant arts and culture. Our work is grounded in a deep understanding of the fundamental social importance of arts and culture; and the belief that ALL young people should have the opportunity to become participants in and creators of it.

We know from evidence and experience that children who take part in arts and culture do better at school and are happier and healthier. As young adults, they are more likely to vote, to go to university, and to secure and stay in good jobs.

But access to arts, culture and creativity is far from universal. Children and their families are too often excluded as a result of social or economic inequalities, which makes accessible, high-quality provision through schools, the cultural sector and youth organisations more important than ever. It is here, working as field builders, with a multitude of teachers, artists, youth and community workers, that Curious Minds has it’s biggest impact.

Curious Minds provides these professionals - the cultural education workforce - and their employers with the skills, support, contacts and knowledge they need to create more and better opportunites for the young people they work with. We help them learn from and embed best practice, to forge partnerships that add value, to capture evidence of impact and to advocate confidently for investment in cultural learning. We recognise the importance of their tireless work and we champion their contribution.

Driving all our work is the belief that, with the right support and space to innovate, the cultural sector can play a greater role in making the North of England the best to grow up and achieve your potential.

We work nationally and internationally but focus our work on the North of England. Our team draws expertise from across the education, culture, public and private sectors.

Evidencing Impact

In 2019, Curious Minds commissioned social research specialists, Social Value Lab, to conduct an independent review of the impact the organisation is making upon individuals and organisations across the cultural, education and youth sectors. Naturally, no study like this can be entirely comprehensive and the research phase for this work was somewhat impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the findings presented in Social Value Lab's Evaluation Report to Curious Minds provide ample and strong evidence that we are, objectively, making the difference we hope to make as a catalyst for cultural education.
Curious Minds is a catalyst for cultural education, changing policy and practice one teacher, one cultural practitioner or one youth practitioners at a time.
We are also proud of how we stepped up to the challenges of Covid-19: the difference we’ve made to individuals and organisations impacted by lockdown; the alliances we’ve forged; the partnerships we’ve brokered; and the creative activity we’ve helped make happen.

In November 2020, we published a report Form Curious in a Crisis to Curious in Recovery - which offers deeper insight into what we've been doing, the people and organisations we have helped and the difference they have told us it has made for them.