Galleries and the Youth Sector Building Partnerships

Circuit emphasised the benefit of galleries establishing equitable partnerships with youth sector organisations. It also highlighted the challenges in building these relationships, which have been identified as a ‘clash of cultures’.

Projects in partnership should involve young people from the start and focus on the professional and personal benefits for participants, not just organisational aims. There are still barriers which prevent young people from identifying with galleries, and which stop them from being aware of the opportunities that might be available there. By working together, galleries and youth sector organisations can produce opportunities for young people to develop skills and have creative learning experiences.

Galleries and youth sector organisations may take different approaches to work with young people, but it is advantageous to bring expertise and resources together, and to develop long-term partnerships and networks. Partnerships should be responsive to their local context, and time should be invested in building honest, transparent relationships to help both sectors empower and support each other to develop new ways of working.


  • Adapt your resources and form partnerships that respond to the current climate of limited budgets and cuts.
  • Identify common motivations, priorities and values.
  • Harness each other’s expertise, and share ways of working that are of benefit to young people.

Gain further insights into the Circuit programme through reading the publication: Circuit – Test, Risk, Change. Browse the research papers below, which have informed the programme’s learning and recommendations.

Further reading

Further questions about Circuit?