Mission statement

Our Vision is for a world enriched through the arts…

Our Mission is to transform lives through the arts by creating magical, high quality learning opportunities that help people flourish.

To achieve our mission, we have four key strategic themes:

  • Bringing the curriculum to life in schools
  • Promoting wellbeing and tackling social issues
  • Discovering and nurturing artists as educators
  • Advocating the importance of arts in learning.

The Artis story


How it all came about

Moulsham Infants School in Essex was where the first Artis programme began, back in 2004. Rebecca Boyle Suh, Artis’ founder of Artis Education Ltd, and now Chair of the Artis Foundation, wanted to develop a broad fusion of the performing arts that could link to every area of the primary curriculum and bring the expertise of real performers into the classroom. In its first year Artis worked with 30 primary schools in Essex and Manchester with a panel of just 25 arts educators. Gradually more and more pioneering Headteachers began partnering Artis to provide their children with magical learning experiences.

Why we grew

Arts educators found out about the comprehensive training we offered. The development of mentoring and leadership positions within the organisation made us a desirable employer for arts educators, offering them a pathway to a fulfilling portfolio career. Artis now receives over 1,000 applications a year from arts educators. And thanks to the enduring vision of countless Headteachers who share our values, we now reach over 50,000 children every week across Greater London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

What was different

In an effort to stand out to schools and children, everyone chose an onomatopoeic name that best described them. These words represented sounds, movements or gestures, expressing our focus on music, dance and drama. Rebecca kicked off and chose Buzz (because she wanted to make sure she created one), then came Lord Puttnam with Whirl (because he’s always in one), and Lord Bichard picked Wham (because he likes to get things done). We now have hundreds of unique onomatopoeic arts educators. We’ve even had twin Artis Specialists, Tick and Tock! Some schools loved the names so much that their staff chose onomatopoeic names that reflect their personalities.

Why we are still here

Our mission has always been a social one; to give as many people as possible the opportunity to develop and learn through the performing arts. In 2017, we established the Artis Foundation charity to be able to help more children in areas of greatest need and explore new ways of promoting mental health and wellbeing through the arts in England and Wales.

Artis Education Ltd became the Foundation’s first benefactor – donating partnerships with schools, arts educators, creative content and staff to help us get established. Artis Education Ltd now focuses on arts education work internationally, and continues to support the Artis Foundation by donating a percentage of profits to help amplify the charity’s impact.

Following years of squeezed school budgets and the narrowing of the curriculum, arts activities at primary schools are in severe decline. The “Taking Part” Survey published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport found participation in the arts among primary-age children down by a third. Now, more than ever, we need to address this “arts gap”.  We must ensure that there are sustained opportunities for arts learning in the classroom and beyond. Read more.

The Future

As we enter our next strategic period, we are committed to transform more lives through the arts than we have been able to before. By 2020 we aim for a further 20,000 children and young people from disadvantaged areas to be benefitting from an Artis Learning experience. In addition, we will:

  • Support 4,500 teachers to embed arts-learning into their practice by giving them the tools and training they require.
  • Develop, pilot and evaluate new approaches to promote wellbeing through the performing arts for school children and other potential beneficiary groups.
  • Recruit and develop 70 arts professionals into arts educators offering them a pathway to a fulfilling portfolio career whilst helping extend our reach into new areas.

Click here to read about the vital impact Artis in schools has and why our work is crucial.

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Registered Charity Number 1174635