V&A Innovate receives Art Explora – Académie des Beaux-Arts award

Learning & National Programmes
December 16, 2021

V&A Innovate, the V&A’s flagship National Schools Challenge for 11–14 year olds has won an Art Explora – Académie des Beaux-Arts European Award. The Awards were established in 2020 to provide vital funding to arts organisations that develop innovative ways to reach new and wider audiences. The Award comes with €50,000 worth of funding for Year 4 of V&A Innovate, launching in September 2022. This funding will help us to expand the programme to reach more students and teachers across England, to advocate for the vital importance of design education in the curriculum, and to continue to inspire the next generation of designers and innovators.

A group of children and adults celebrating at the V&A
National Schools Challenge 2019 winners from Coundon Court School, Coventry with judges and teachers © Victoria and Albert Museum

V&A Innovate invites students in years 7, 8 and 9 at state secondary schools to work together to design solutions to real-world problems. Students explore themes inspired by the V&A’s collections and exhibitions that ask critical questions about the issues shaping our world. Entries are judged by a panel of industry experts who select finalists to attend an annual Pitching & Awards day at the museum. Previous V&A Innovate themes have included Go, Eat and Wear (Year 1), Home and Community (Year 2), and Renew, Connect and Move (Year 3 – currently ongoing).

Free online resources including animations, films with designers and curators, and downloadable toolkits support delivery of the challenge, along with an online continued professional development programme for teachers including talks from inspiring designers, artists, and teachers.

‘We are thrilled to win Art Explora’s Académie des beaux-arts European Award for V&A Innovate – our national, digital-first challenge for young people inspired by our collection spanning 5,000 years and multiple creative disciplines. The Award comes at a time when creative education has never been more vital for young people, building life skills in problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking. The Award is a wonderful endorsement to the tireless work of educators and young people in the challenging context of the global pandemic, in which the role of museums as places of empowerment and inspiration for the next generation of creative thinkers cannot be underestimated. The funding will help us to expand V&A Innovate further and support young people to look to their futures with optimism and agency through the lens of design. We are extremely grateful to Art Explora for recognising the value of our programme.’

Tristram Hunt, V&A Director

Year 3 of V&A Innovate is generously supported by the Clore Duffield Foundation and the V&A Young Patrons’ Circle Future Fund.

Watch the V&A Innovate awards day 2019–20 on YouTube.

We’re so grateful for to everyone involved in V&A Innovate’s first two years!

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