Trinity College London and Arts Council England have recently undertaken an external review of Artsbox, consulting with Arts Award advisers, young people who are registered on the site as well as a small number of Arts Award panel members and Bridge colleagues.  The outcome of this review has led Trinity to make the decision to close the Artsbox platform. The site will close on 31 March 2018.

About the review

The review aimed to better understand the user experience for both advisers and young people identifying:

  • The ways in which young people are using Artsbox
  • The extent to which the functionality of Artsbox meets young people and advisers’ needs
  • Whether the functionality needs to differ for different ages of young people using Artsbox
  • The extent to which young people want to share their Arts Award work or portfolio with a wider public audience and their ability to do this in Artsbox.

Although many young people and advisers identified positive experiences and welcomed the opportunity to have access to a secure site that supported young people to work digitally, the review also identified that the Artsbox platform does not sufficiently meet the needs of young people and advisers developing digital portfolios.

Trinity recognise that digital portfolio technology has developed substantially in the time since Artsbox was commissioned and the Arts Award community would gain greater benefit from accessing platforms that are familiar to young people and allow them to share their art work and development with a wider audience of peers and arts professionals.

Next steps for Artsbox users

We are committed to ensuring that all young people who are currently working in Artsbox are not unfairly disadvantaged by this decision. 

We have therefore written to all registered users of Artsbox and asked them to share details of their planned delivery using Artsbox and completion timescale so that we can support them appropriately.

We plan to formally close the site on the 31st March 2018 and all centres should ideally work to this date for completion of certification and moderation of portfolios.

We have additionally requested that centres do not start any new work in Artsbox and investigate alternative platforms to develop work digitally. 

The Arts Award team will shortly be launching a resource which signposts to a range of sites popular with advisers and young people for the sharing of digital work.  In the meantime you might consider using Arts Award Voice where young people can post reviews and blogs for a public audience, or sites such as GoogledocsDropboxOneNoteSeesaw, or access blogging site Wordpress.