OPPORTUNITY: Become a Cultural Connector

Are you aged 16 ‚Äď 25 years old, living in Southampton?

Would you like to help shape the future of Southampton’s cultural life for young people?

Become one of Southampton’s Cultural Connectors!

Young people from SoCoMusic with Eileen Simpson and Ben White. British Art Show 8 Southampton

10 Cultural Connectors will join ‚ÄėConnecting Culture‚Äô, a ground-breaking project led by University of Southampton. You will explore how Southampton‚Äôs thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich the lives of children and young people as a future creative hub and work alongside  a large group of creative organisations and child-focused services.

You will receive training and mentoring to lead the charge and enable young people to produce a Young People’s Manifesto and Map for Southampton. You will also work with professional artists and creatives to create, manage and produce a dynamic cultural programme for Southampton’s Children and Young People.

This is a unique opportunity to develop your own ideas and creative skills, working alongside professional artists and people who will support you to research and realise your ideas, and gain new skills that will make a real difference to your outlook, and the lives of young people in your city!

As well as taking part in this incredible opportunity, each Cultural Connector will receive: 

  • A bespoke development programme
  • Training including evaluation, workshop facilitation, creative programming and event management
  • Individual support towards achieving your Silver or Gold Arts Award
  • Discover & Explore Arts Award Advisor training or skills workshop
  • Support to explore and develop your own creative practice
  • 1:1 mentoring
  • Financial support to cover any programme expenses, including food and travel where applicable

We are looking for people aged 16-25 living in Southampton who:   

  • Have a passion for Southampton and its future¬†
  • Would love to connect with others in their community¬†¬†
  • Are creative thinkers¬†
  • Have potential to become change makers¬†¬†
  • Are looking for a new challenge¬†¬†
  • Come from a range of backgrounds with different lived experiences¬†
  • Can show a commitment to the full programme

We are especially interested in hearing from people who are under-represented within the culture sector. 

This includes those who: 

  • face barriers to opportunities due to mental health issues, physical health/disability, sensory impairment, learning disabilities and/or neurodivergence
  • Are care-experienced
  • Come from the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, working-class backgrounds and/or traveller communities.


We would also love to hear from you if you live or study in the Redbridge, Bevois and the Sholing, and Bitterne (Thornhill) areas. 


We are committed to making this an inclusive and accessible programme. We will work with you to remove any financial barriers to access and will listen to your ideas on how to make the programme work for you. 


You do not need to have conventional educational success, good grades or specific qualifications. We are looking for a wide range of lived experiences, opinions and interests so that our 10 Cultural Connectors group reflects Southampton’s diverse communities and experiences.   

If you have any questions about this opportunity, or need this brief or further information in a different format, please email Frankie McCormick, Lead Project Coordinator at culture@soton.ac.uk and provide a contact telephone number. Please note that queries may not be answered immediately. 

This programme will start in October 2022 until end of August 2023 

  • You must be available for our Kick Starter weekend on Saturday 1 ‚Äď Sunday 2 October 2022
  • Sessions will take place fortnightly, on one weekend day plus one evening during the week. We will discuss this with the group to find a time that works for you.¬†
  • Training will take place at various venues across Southampton. We can provide transport support to anyone who may need it.¬†

STEP 1: Hit the button below to complete the online application form by Monday 5 September 2022 at 12:00. 

  • If you would prefer to apply in a non-written format, you can create a video or voice note application (5 – 8 mins) or submit your application in any form that you choose. If submitting a video or voice note, please submit your file as an mp3 or mp4 file type, or upload your application to your YouTube, Soundcloud or other platform. Please make sure you still answer all questions on the application form.
  • MP3s, MP4s and links can be uploaded straight into the application form below.¬†¬†
  • Don‚Äôt be afraid to ask for help! This could be from a teacher, advisor, support worker, family member or friend. You can also ask us for help by emailing Frankie at culture@soton.ac.uk.¬†


STEP 2: Make sure you have submitted your application in plenty of time! The deadline to apply is Monday 5 September 2022 at 12:00. 


STEP 3: Sit back, your work here is done! We will get back to you by Friday 9 September to let you know the outcome of your application.  


STEP 4: Our selection panel will review all applications. If you are selected, you will be invited to attend a team selection day. This will take place the week beginning 12 September 2022, in person in Southampton city centre.  

For more information email Frankie McCormick, Lead Project Coordinator at culture@soton.ac.uk