Arts Education Exchange is a non-profit creative education provider for young people living in Thanet, East Kent. Our focus is to harness the potential of young people – to inspire social engagement through creative processes and to provide pathways to continued education, employment or work based training. We work in partnership with schools, universities, local youth services, arts organisations and creative practitioners to deliver bespoke arts programmes that increase opportunities and tackle issues of social exclusion and low skills. Our programmes offer young people, aged between 12 and 24, a range of creative activities and year-long, multi-disciplinary courses including music, film, photography, poetry, performance, printing and digital design. We provide participants with the chance to develop a creative portfolio and gain an Arts Award qualification. All our projects engage the wider community through public events and social media.
As outlined in the Coastal Community Team Economic Plan (2016), Thanet has high unemployment; low wages; Poor levels of education, skills and training; 28% high portion of Thanet residents with no qualifications; Unemployment rate for 18-24 years is double that for all ages; high levels of crime and large numbers of NEETS (Not in Education, Education or Training). In addition, Cliftonville West, Margate has the highest percentage of child poverty in Kent and the South East (End Child Poverty, 2018). Our aim is to tackle these issues by identifying and working with young people who are at risk or already experience disadvantage or poverty of opportunity.
Ollie Briggs founded Arts Education Exchange in 2017 to further develop his work engaging marginalised youth through creative education. Ollie has initiated various arts programmes in partnership with Turner Contemporary, University for the Creative Arts, local schools and youth centres as well as commissioning various artists to run workshops with young people. Ollie has been awarded several grants to fund his initiatives, including Arts Council England. Ollie's vision is to inspire social change by increasing access to the arts and cultural learning for young people in an area of deprivation. His work is about building new social bonds through a creative and cultural exchange and to facilitate social engagement through the arts.