With funding for the arts declining at a critical rate, it's sadly left to those within those industries to step up and take action. One of the brands doing such is Alexander McQueen, whom have announced a partnership with A Team Arts Education; a community youth arts education organisation located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This will continue and push forward the charity's vital work in enabling young people to enter arts and design careers when they don't have the means or connections to do so.

Working with young people in the East End, the initiative feels necessary for the brand to be a part of due to Lee McQueen's connections to the area. As well as financial support for A Team Arts Education, McQueen will continue the free art-led school holiday and Saturday workshops that were first trialled during the pandemic and launch 'The Explore Programme'; a set of live experiences with the brand's design, textile and embroidery professionals that will act as an introduction to fashion, textiles and art and design pathways. Unlike many of McQueen's other educational schemes that connect with colleges and university students nationally, this opens up opportunities to young people and their parents to get a broader view into education in the creative sector and careers while they're still of school age.

"At a time when schools and local authorities are reducing their arts budgets and provision, we still need the arts to help bring about a positive recovery and come together after the Covid-19 pandemic," says Sarbjit Natt, Director of A Team Arts Education. "Working with Alexander McQueen will provide inspiration, hope and opportunities to an area that has established links to the fashion and textiles industries that are now hidden through layers of history and a changing urban landscape." Which is seconded by Sarah Burton. "At this house we all know that talent comes from everywhere, irrespective of background... We’re inspired and humbled to be able to join with A Team Arts Education in their exceptional grass-roots work in providing fashion, textiles and art and design programmes."

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