LONDON – Tate, with agreement from government, will seek to appoint its first Trustee dedicated to bringing the views of the next generation to the highest level of Tate’s decision-making process.
Tate is also launching £5 exhibition tickets for 16- to 25-year-olds as part of a new scheme called Tate Collective. It is the first free-to-join membership scheme for 16- to 25-year-olds at a national UK museum and is open to people anywhere in the world to join online. Those who do can see any of Tate exhibitions for a fiver and also get discounts in Tate’s cafes and shops. They can also bring up to three friends to shows, each for £5.
These initiatives respond directly to Tate’s recent programs and consultation with this age group who said the cost of living and higher education mean funds are squeezed and they want access to more affordable activities which they can enjoy with their friends. Museums and galleries also need to build stronger relationships with youth organizations, grow a more diverse workforce and provide a platform for relevant debates, such as identity and social issues.
Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate said: “We are acting on what 16- to 25-year-olds say they want so that we can make the changes needed for future generations. Our sector should be shaped by their creative energy and their message to us is clear: arts institutions should plan ‘with’ not ‘for’ them. To do this it is important their voices are heard across the organisation, not just in niche programming. Recruiting a new Trustee – a cultural entrepreneur and digital native – will support this across Tate. And with Tate Collective, our exhibitions are made accessible to this younger generation.”
The research into what these audiences want from the sector is part of the legacy of Circuit, a four-year, Tate-led project supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, engaging 175,000 people under 25 in England and Wales who devised and produced festivals and events across a number of UK art galleries. Participants were asked how they wanted the sector to change to make it relevant for future generations.
Tate is also announcing today an online project Why Study Art? devised by collaborative practice They Are Here, which will ask the public for their views and culminate in posters for every secondary school in the UK. An annual careers fair for the arts will be held, and ongoing opportunities for access to information about careers in the arts provided, following the successful pilot event Routes In earlier this year at Tate Modern.
For schools, Tate will establish an annual ASSEMBLY day in April to welcome over 50 schools from across London’s boroughs in a takeover of the Blavatnik Building and Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. It is anticipated that over 1,500 pupils will take part in this year’s event.
Gaby Sahhar, from Tate Collective and Circuit said: “I’m pleased Tate is responding to our request for more affordable ticket prices and greater integration in decision making. This will make a big difference and is a positive shift. At Tate, I have had access to artists and people who work in galleries and have been involved in curating and devising events. I wouldn’t have been able to think about art the way I do without these opportunities.”
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We care deeply that Britain’s incredible cultural experiences are available to the next generation. It’s fantastic that Tate is to make their world-class exhibitions more accessible to young people and give them a voice at the highest level by recruiting a Trustee to represent them. Young people are the cultural leaders of the future and it is important we do all we can to support their creativity and ideas.”
Régis Cochefert Director, Grants and Programmes at Paul Hamlyn Foundation said: “We are delighted to have supported Circuit for the past four years and look forward to seeing how the legacy of the project will spark deep and meaningful change. By working with young people at multiple levels, from curation through to governance, museums and galleries have a chance to engage new audiences that will help them thrive into the future. As a foundation, we care deeply about the ability of people to access and participate in arts and culture, regardless of their background. We hope the new Tate Collective initiative will be successful in removing some of the barriers that young people can face when accessing what museums and galleries have to offer.”
Tate Exchange, Tate’s ambitious experimental project involving over 70 Associates annually across Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool, sets out to explore some of the most challenging and topical issues of the day including homelessness, mental health and identity. This year a number of Associates focus on the right of everyone to a critically engaged education. From 24 to 29 April Creative Learning through the Arts will produce a week of encounters and workshops at Tate Modern as part of Tate Exchange to explore the transformative and life-long experience of creativity in learning.
To join Tate Collective, go to tate.org.uk/tate-collective.
The full report from Circuit, Test, Risk, Change – “Young People, Youth Organisations and Galleries: Working As Allies to Spark Change” can be found online. Further Circuit research will be published in autumn 2018.