Youth-led British Museum programme Where we are… today announces its Key Partners for 2024 will be located in Doncaster and Wolverhampton.

This national programme for those aged 16 to 24 aims to empower young people through the co-creation of arts and culture projects within their own communities. 

The Key Partner organisations selected this year include arts and youth empowerment organisations that will work in partnership with their local authority Arts and Culture Service. They serve communities that face high levels of deprivation, aiming to create opportunities, provide support and raise aspirations for young people in their communities. 

In each area, young people who join the programme decide what type of arts and culture projects they would like to pursue and co-produce. Previous projects have included photography that repositioned perceptions of Edinburgh as being more than just the Royal Mile, animation about the power of art as protest, and filmmaking that reflected on a historic house’s connections to enslavement and colonisation.

In Wolverhampton, Reach and Unite Outreach and Empowerment (RUOE) and Wolverhampton Arts and Culture Services were selected. RUOE aims to remove barriers that lead to the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities that affect the wellbeing of young people and their families. The organisation focuses on the key factors that affect health such as education, employment and social networks. They create opportunities and provide support for young people and their families through targeted outreach programmes. 

Wolverhampton Arts and Culture Services includes three venues, offering visitors the opportunity to explore 300 years of art at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, enjoy free workshops at Bilston Craft Gallery or step back 100 years at Bantock House Museum. 

Councillor Chris Burden, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for visitor city, said: “Wolverhampton Art Gallery is delighted to be part of the Where we are… programme in collaboration with the British Museum. We are excited to partner with RUOE in bringing creative opportunities to young people in our community and co-producing with them. We truly believe this project can provide a creative legacy in the city for our young people and can’t wait to get started!”

Dominique Williams, Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer, Reach and Unite Outreach and Empowerment, said: “We are deeply honoured and thrilled to be part of the Where we are… programme in partnership with Wolverhampton Art Gallery. It's a privilege to support young individuals in unleashing their creativity and providing them with a platform to express their unique voices through art. We are committed to empowering the next generation to explore their creative potential and contribute meaningfully to our community.”

In Doncaster, Right Up Our Street and City of Doncaster Culture Services were selected as Key Partners. Right Up Our Street is a community-led arts programme funded by Arts Council England, providing art activities and events in Doncaster. It works in partnership with Doncaster’s communities, listening to what they need and want, co-creating an arts programme that is relevant and meaningful. From poetry to performance, film, radio, sculpture, design, technology and physical activity, Right Up Our Street and Doncaster’s local communities make inspiring art in surprising locations. 

City of Doncaster Culture Services oversees the management of Arts, Culture and Heritage Services, including a variety of cultural venues such as the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum, Doncaster Archives, Cusworth Hall Park and Gardens, and Doncaster Mansion House.

Meg Barclay, Learning and Community Development Manager, Cultural Services Doncaster, said: “We are thrilled to have this unique opportunity to work in partnership with the British Museum and our fantastic local organisation Right Up Our Street. Being able to share learning, experiences and resources through this partnership is exciting and will enable us to explore new approaches to working with young people to help them discover their local history and culture in meaningful ways for them.”

Sally Lockey, Director, Right Up Our Street, said: "Right Up Our Street are thrilled to be partnering up with Doncaster Gallery Library and Museum and the British Museum. Projects like this are such a great opportunity for the city's young people to feel firmly rooted in the nation’s heritage, as well as shape their story in an authentic and creative way. I can't wait to see what direction they take!"

Hanouf Al-Alawi, National Outreach Manager at the British Museum, said: “We are so excited to work with our partners in Wolverhampton and Doncaster on this year’s Where we are… programme. Their passion and motivation to make positive changes for the young people in their local area was truly inspiring. I can’t wait to start collaborating on the new projects this year’s programme brings.”