The Wac Arts Experience
The Wac Arts mission: Empowering Young People to Change Their World
Wac Arts has 38 years of experience providing innovative and exciting performing arts and media training.
The mission of the organisation from its inception has been to provide training that all young people can access, regardless of their background or circumstance. Today, over 1000 young people benefit from fantastic arts training and exciting programmes every year.
We started out as one Sunday class a week, and now we are open seven days a week, 50 weeks a year to students accessing the wide variety of programmes that are on offer.
As well as our full time training in performing arts we also hold enrichment classes on the weeknights and at weekends. Many of the young people that join our fulltime course make use of these extra classes to supplement their training. The Senior Wac Arts programme on a Sunday includesclasses that are not part of the full time curriculum such as film editing, video production, music technology, 1 to 1 music lessons, a jazz band, fencing and much more!
So who’s trained at Wac Arts?
We have worked with over 30,000 students in the past 38 years and have developed some of the UK’s leading diverse talent from our full time and weekend programmes. Among our alumni are MOBO award winner Ms Dynamite, Oscar Nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Golden Globe Nominee Sophie Okonedo, Sicario and Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya, HBO’s OT Fagbenle, National Television Award winners Danny Dyer and Maddy Hill, National Theatre regulars Danny Sapani and Sheila Atim, award winning director Ché Walker, Jazz greats Courtney Pine and Julian Joseph and many, many more.
“Wac Arts gave me an invaluable experience not only the chance to develop as an actor but gave me an appreciation of all arts ballet, jazz, music. We were encouraged to try everything and to create. I don’t think you get that type of training anywhere else”
Marianne Jean-Baptiste- Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe Nominee
Wac Arts and Inclusivity
Wac Arts is dedicated to providing all young people with the best training opportunities.
78% of attendees are BAME and 19% have a disability or special educational need
For those who have special educational needs or disabilities Wac Arts will agree support plans to ensure all students on the course can flourish. We screen all students for dyslexia and dyspraxia and then work in more detail with those who need additional support. We have a Disability Officer and a Media Inclusion Officer to support this process. Once in place these resources enable each student to become an independent learner.
“Attending Wac Arts as a teenager transformed my life. I cannot overstate the continuing importance of having such institutions accessible to young people in London”
Sam Beste- Wac Arts alumnus and professional musician
Our curriculum content, our casting ethos, our staff team and our student body challenge stereotypes on a daily basis. Our students explore art forms from many cultures and learn that each has its own rigour, complexity and aesthetic value
We provide a range of resources and teaching strategies to reflect and value the diversity of learners’ experiences. We celebrate all cultural heritages- our students leave Wac Arts with a comprehensive understanding and recognition of the contribution of people and communities beyond their immediate experience.
Students develop a range of transferable employment skills through Wac Arts’ current volunteering scheme, where learners can work alongside other area-related programmes acquiring both functional and art specific skills.
Come to Wac Arts if you want to broaden your horizons not just as a performer but as an individual.
Wac Arts vision and values
Everyone has the right to experience an education in the performing arts and media
We believe that:
• Every young person is entitled to high quality performing arts and media education
• Learning the arts gives you tools for life
• Arts education is transformational and helps people fulfil their potential in life
• Experience of the arts can build confidence; self-esteem and help people overcome great difficulties
• Regardless of background, every person deserves to gain through the arts
• Every single young person has talent in some form –it’s our job to help them find it
Our values guide our activities and reflect how we work as an organisation.
• Innovation: at the cutting edge of arts education
• Equality: free from hierarchy
• Empowerment: nurturing self-belief
• Excellence: outstanding levels of training and performance
• Love: the family you choose to trust
“To lead an organisation whose vision is to empower young people to change their world is an incredible privilege. Since its inception it has been an organisation committed to the best possible outcomes for disadvantaged young people, for diversity and for the arts, and it deserves far more of a light to be shone on it. I deeply believe the arts changes and touches humanity for the better and that everyone has a right to have access to it. I am thrilled to have the chance to be part of an extraordinarily talented, dedicated and compassionate team at Wac Arts, committed to developing the extraordinary arts and cultural organisation that our young people so need it to be.”
Karen Napier, Chief Executive, Wac Arts and Principal of Wac Arts Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre.