A new three-year arts education programme was launched at the Royal Academy of Arts this morning by a panel which included London mayor Boris Johnson.
The Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project brings together five leading London galleries and will offer young people aged 13-25 a glimpse behind the scenes.
Tate Britain, Hayward Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery and South London Gallery are taking part in the programme, along with the Royal Academy.
“On a strictly utilitarian cost benefit basis there can be few better investments for society than getting young minds into galleries and realising their potential there,” said Johnson.
But later he added: “There was a bit of soul missing from my speech and I want to address that. It’s not just about the London economy, it’s a great thing for kids too.”
Thanks to the support of luxury brand Louis Vuitton, which is investing around £1 million, the young people involved can expect a high quality introduction to the art world.
Organisers promise back of house tours, site visits and creative sessions as well as the chance to meet museum directors, curators, artists and collectors. A select few each year will be chosen to attend an intensive five-day academy in August.
“It’s not just to think about becoming artistic practitioners themselves, it’s also about opening up other career possibilities within the art industry,” said Margot Heller, Director of South London Gallery, which is leading the programme.
The well-connected project boasts Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, Michael Landy and Keith Tyson as members of its committee. Openings surely do not get much better.