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The 3-year ERASMUS+ funded "arted" project started in November 2020 and is jointly led by Dr Tom Dobson and Dr Lisa Stephenson from the Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University. The project draws upon the expertise of the Story Makers Company, for which Lisa is Director, as well partners across Europe.

"arted" employs a participatory co-design model, involving young people, artists, teachers, and parents, to produce a range of inclusive, interactive guides, which focus on how to engage young people with the creative arts.  These guides will be online and open access and include an interactive game and audio-visual immersive experiences of artists in practice.  The guides will help teachers, trainee teachers, parents, and carers engage in the development of creative learning opportunities for young people across Europe.  


The project builds upon research by Story Makers Company which indicates that involvement in the creative arts can impact positively upon young people’s wellbeing.  By transferring the knowledge, skills and practices of artists working in education to teachers, trainee teachers, parents and carers, arted will:

  • improve young people’s wellbeing and engagement in schooling at all ages;

  • reduce early school leaving;

  • strengthen the profile of the teaching profession.


  1. Creating safe and brave spaces 

    • Trusting young people 

    • Embracing diversity and difference to hear all voices 

    • Creating community in a non-judgemental space 

    • Acknowledging young people’s individual histories and experiences and how these might affect the space 

  2. Collective creation 

    • Process driven, with considered balance between structure and freedom 

    • Active participation and engagement, which draws upon young people’s lived experiences 

    • Physical, emotional, ethical and cognitive meaning-making 

    • Consideration of how the collective can impact on the individual’s experience (Whose voice is privileged and whose is silenced?)  

  3. Change making 

    • Enjoyment, self-expression, confidence (positive wellbeing) 

    • Compassion and empathy, promoting multiple and critical perspectives 

    • Active empowerment and agency building 

    • Promoting change within the community. 


"arted" will have an impact across Europe upon teachers, trainee teachers, parents, and carers, who will use the creative arts in the education and development of young people. The sharing of good practice through our inclusive guides will strengthen the profile of the teaching profession, impact positively upon young people’s mental health and engagement and reduce early school leaving.

For further information, please contact us.

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