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Rural Arts

Rural Arts is a registered charity whose vision is creativity in every community in North Yorkshire. We deliver inspiring and inclusive creative opportunities that enrich lives and connect communities. Founded in 1993, we take participatory arts activities and professional performance to schools, village halls and community settings across 3,500 square miles of rural North Yorkshire, England’s largest county, as well as run our own arts centre, The Courthouse, in Thirsk.

We can support your Artsmark delivery across a range of artforms and age groups! Whether you’d like to explore a specific craft, increase community cohesion, or discover exciting ways to enhance pupil voice, Rural Arts is the right choice. We have decades of professional experience supporting young people to achieve their goals – in the arts and through the arts.

How Rural Arts embodies the Artsmark Quality Principles

  1. Striving for excellence and innovation: We are recognised by Arts Council England through our annual funding as one of 7 organisations in North Yorkshire with excellent quality and nationally significant cultural outputs.
  2. Being authentic: We work with a range of practitioners, who are all deeply committed to their artform, and want to support young people to succeed in whatever way is best for them. Our organisation is led by Authentic Leadership Theory
  3. Being exciting, inspiring, and engaging: We receive Outstanding ratings in our peer assessments via Arts Council and work hard to ensure we’re always learning. We develop our programmes using participant and teacher feedback to ensure we’re reaching all the right places!
  4. Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience: We have almost thirty years of experience delivering workshops across a wide range of settings, and are committed to enabling positive experiences for all. Two of our values are ‘enriching’ and ‘inclusive’.
  5. Actively involving children and young people: Alongside our work with schools, we work year-round with a cohort of 45 students at The Courthouse who are pursuing their arts award. This is a collaborative journey that sees young people develop their own portfolios as well as help design workshops, exhibitions etc. with the wider group
  6. Enabling personal progression: We know the arts truly can change lives. We can deliver workshops that support students to explore their present and future literally, or expand their perspectives, to see a new and exciting world of careers they can progress into.
  7. Developing belonging and ownership: Our mission is to enrich lives and connect communities. Our workshops – whether working on solo or collaborative projects – bring joy, connectivity, and ownership to a group, and over time can enhance of belonging in each individual.

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Rural Arts logo
Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Digital arts
Appropriate Age Range
Appropriate Key Stage Range
KS1, KS2, FE, KS5
Working Across
North Yorkshire, York
Community Settings, Mainstream Schools, Special Schools
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