Portsmouth Music Hub's Arts and Culture Passport

What is it?

Portsmouth Music Hub's Arts & Culture Passport is a scheme which enables and encourages children, young people and adults to enjoy engaging with the arts and culture as a performer, visitor or audience member.

The scheme includes music, dance, drama, art and cultural activities, e.g. visits to museums or attendance at concerts.


  • to inspire children, young people and adults to enjoy and take a pride in engaging in arts and cultural activities
  • to increase access to, and participation in the arts and culture for everyone in and beyond the city of Portsmouth
  • to recognise participation and achievement in the arts and culture
  • to raise the profile of the arts and culture across the Music Hub and across the city
  • to provide a positive activity that can be undertaken by parents and children together
  • to increase partnership working between arts and cultural partners in Portsmouth
  • to provide a manageable scheme that involves minimal additional work for teachers and leaders and is accessible for all children, young people and adults.

What age groups is it aimed at?

The Arts & Culture Passport has 5 stages so that children can take part from around the age of four. Stage 1 requires just 5 stamps to be collected plus a reflection whereas Stage 5 is much more demanding and requires 40 stamps plus other activities including a leadership challenge.

Who is involved?

The scheme has proved very popular indeed with schools, academies, home educated groups, youth organisations and arts and cultural establishments all registering to lead the scheme, both in Portsmouth and beyond. Even a college in Argentina has registered!

To date, just over 10,000 young people now have access to the scheme through the organisations who have registered.

What do participants receive?

Successful participants receive a certificate signed by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, the Cabinet Member for Children and Education and the Direct of the Music Hub. In addition, participants achieving Stage 5 can choose a ticket for a performance, gig, or cultural event from one of the partner organisations.

Arts & Culture certificate

Arts & Culture certificate

How does it work?

Participants collect evidence when they engage with arts or cultural events by either participating or attending.

Participants design their own portfolios and examples can be found here.

Passport cover

Passport cover

Examples of an attendance stamp include: listening to a concert; visiting an art gallery or museum, watching a dance show, seeing a play or a theatre show.
Examples of a participation stamp include: performing in a concert; creating a sculpture; taking part in a dance workshop; acting in a play or being one of the technical team.


There are 5 stages increasing in engagement and challenge. The stamps are not cumulative and each new stage requires the participant to collect a new set of stamps and evidence.

Although anyone can start at any stage, children in infant and junior schools are advised to start at Stage 1. Students in secondary schools and adults may start at any stage. Participants are strongly encouraged to find new ways of engaging with the arts and culture for each stage.

Each stage can be achieved with either standard or gold status. To achieve gold, at least 20% of the stamps need to be participation stamps, i.e. with the participant actively engaging in an activity.

  • Stage 1: 5 stamps + 1 reflection
  • Stage 2: 10 stamps + 2 reflections
  • Stage 3: 20 stamps + 4 reflections + 1 project
  • Stage 4: 30 stamps + 6 reflections +1 project
  • Stage 5: 40 stamps + 8 reflections + 1 project + 1 leadership challenge

What is a reflection?

The scheme encourages participants to reflect on their experiences as an integral part of the process.

A reflection can take various forms: recording thoughts, researching, responding or sharing. These can be written, audio/video recordings or a piece of work created in response to a stimulus, for instance:

a)    A documented piece describing thoughts and ideas linked to an artistic or cultural encounter
b)    Evidence (written, audio/video) that the participant has undertaken independent research in an arts/cultural area of interest
c)   Responding through the creation of a piece of artwork, poetry or song inspired by an artistic or cultural encounter
d)    Communicating to an audience what has been experienced, learnt or achieved, for example:

  • describing a visit to an art gallery in a class assembly
  • talking about a concert in a class sharing time
  • writing an article for a magazine
  • giving a presentation about a concert for a group of people
  • making a film about the experience
  • teaching someone a new skill

What is a project?

A longer-term new activity that takes place over time e.g. learning songs and attending workshops, culminating in a show/exhibition or creating a series of artwork or photographs to share.

What is a leadership challenge?

Something new that will challenge the participant to take on a leadership role at an appropriate stage (discussed and agreed in advance with the lead organisation).

Who checks the evidence?

  • Schools are often the organisations encouraging children and young people to work towards their Arts and Culture Passport. Other bodies, such as youth groups, arts groups, clubs, museums and similar organisations also act as lead organisations.
  • Schools and organisations are responsible for assessing whether a stage has been completed by scrutinising the evidence file provided by the passport holder.
  • The Music Hub moderates a sample of applications.

Get collecting!!