York College is delighted to be awarded the Artsmark Gold Award in recognition of excellence in the arts and its cultural provision across the College’s Performing Arts, Music, Media and Art & Design divisions. Artsmark is Arts Council England’s flagship programme which enables schools and colleges to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their arts and cultural provision.
The College was nominated for this award by York Theatre Royal, with whom the College regularly works in collaboration. In recent years York College students and staff have worked to produce ‘The Mystery plays’, Blood and Chocolate and are currently working on the theatre’s latest production ‘In fog and falling snow’ which will be staged at the National Railway Museum later this year.
York College has been recognised for a number of strengths in the arts, including a range of extra-curricular opportunities for students to develop their interests and skills. The College works with a host of artists and arts organisations to create innovative partnerships, with retention and success rates above the national average. The College’s extra-curricular activities enable and encourage students who are not studying arts subjects to engage in enrichment activities, as participants as well as audience members. The Artsmark award celebrates the College’s work with the professional sector in supporting students who are considering career paths in the creative and cultural sector.
The College’s arts activities are deemed to be of a high quality and York College has forged strong links with the cultural industries and higher education establishments. Students studying the arts can experience professional practice and guidance, with workshops and classes delivered by tutors who are themselves practicing artists.
The arts divisions share and celebrate their work with the local and wider community through a range of high profile and prestigious events as well as regular performances and exhibitions within the college building.
The Artsmark report states: “There is no doubt that York College offers rich, varied and relevant experiences in the arts…in every area we visited we saw tutors working with students to refine and develop practice, providing an environment for learning that matched the needs of students. The atmosphere was wholly creative and inspiring. The resources on offer are exceptional and further smooth transition into higher education and/or the creative industries. Tutors work exceptionally hard to give students engaging and meaningful experiences as well as supporting their learning and achievements.”
Jan Ansell, Head of Division for Performing Arts, Music and Media at York College says: “The College is exceptionally proud of its Artsmark Gold Award status. The College works with so many arts practitioners, across all disciplines, and offers students a wide variety of opportunities. This Award reflects the hard work that goes on collaboratively with the local arts industries to prepare students for careers in the arts. York College has an impressive culture of promoting the arts to the whole college community, as well as the wider community, making the arts provision at York College all-encompassing and inclusive.”