Working With Young Cultural Leaders

"It is vital that we hand the power to shape arts and culture on to the next generation. Becoming a Young Cultural Leader is a way for children and young people to understand that change is within their grasp." – Sally Manser, Head of Royal Opera House Bridge

Working With Young Cultural Leaders aims to support schools and cultural organisations in setting up and running programmes that enable young people to have an active role in shaping cultural learning in their school/community.

Your guide, your way

There are several ways you can read Working With Young Cultural Leaders

Print: We have a limited number of hard copies available. Please contact with your request.

Who is this guide for?

This booklet is for people, schools and organizations who want to create opportunities for children and young people to become Young Cultural Leaders. It is written primarily for those have not run a Young Cultural Leaders project before or who are in the early stages of setting one up. Those readers with more experience of running Young Cultural Leaders programmes may find this guide useful for sharing with less experienced colleagues or to stimulate wider debate.

This guide is presented as part of a larger conversation around ways to increase and strengthen cultural learning for all children and young people. We would welcome your feedback.

Where have the ideas and examples come from?

The Royal Opera House Bridge (ROH Bridge) has funded a range of programmes that include leadership roles for young people in the
cultural sector. We have also received requests from schools and cultural organizations asking for advice on how to establish and manage youth-led work. We therefore decided to commission a publication capturing learning from regional partners & programmes.

This booklet was written following small-scale research and consultation with a range of cultural organizations who are working with young people in the region.

What will I take from this?

We hope that this guide will provide you with some practical tips for setting up and running your own Young Cultural Leaders activity that is adapted to your specific setting and needs. We hope the examples and questions provide a simple scaffolding to your plans and are a useful reference point as you progress.

Ultimately, we hope that this will help you to listen and act upon the thoughts, ideas and actions of young people that you connect with and that in return they will help grow and strengthen your organization.

Read More

Bridgefest was a peer-led consultation with people aged 11 – 19, exploring their ideas and views about arts and culture in the region

The projects was designed and managed by Lucie Fitton, Head of Engagement, The Audience Agency with support from ROH Bridge.

What next?

For advice, networking opportunities and support for your initiative please contact your local Royal Opera House Bridge Programme Manager via

For more news and opportunities follow us on Twitter @ROHBridge, Find us on Facebook, Connect on Linked In or register for email updates


Working with Young Cultural Leaders booklet would not have been possible without the work, knowledge and experience of the many regional partners who kindly contributed their time and thoughts.

Special thanks are due to:

Hannah Wilmot who led on the research and content for the guide and who provided invaluable expertise throughout.

Jason Ramasami who created the unique illustrations and gave valuable feedback from his perspective as a teacher.

Yogesh Taylor for the layout and helping bring the guide to life.

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Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)