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What is SmArts?

Girls performing theatre
Students' theatre performance

What is SmArts?

SmArts is designed to provide students in Years 9 to 11 who are interested in creative arts with links to art organisations and relevant career information. It aims to raise student’s education aspirations and career knowledge of the creative arts through an interconnected creative program.

SmArts runs for a minimum of 20 hours and includes the following four parts:

  1. Hands-on creative practice so students can access creative activities to increase self-confidence in their own talents and abilities as well as enhance social skills.
  2. Visits to or from arts-related organisations, such as an exhibition, theatrical performance or musical performance.
  3. Talks with an expert so students can engage with art professionals and hear about their study and career pathway to their current job.
  4. Post program links so students can expand their connections to community and organisational opportunities.

We run a number of programs nationally as part of SmArts, and in partnership with other organisations.

University partnerships

The Smith Family runs SmArts in partnership with the following universities:

  • The Australian National University (ACT)
  • RMIT University (VIC)
  • The University of Melbourne (VIC)

Newcastle Region Art Gallery - ArtCastle is an initiative by The Smith Family in collaboration with the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (NRAG) and funders. Over the two day program, participating students work on individual and group art works, guided and educated by three artists. By the conclusion of the workshop each student will have worked on art works and experienced new art techniques which are inspired by current gallery exhibitions.

Museum of Contemporary Art - Bella is a program of art-making workshops and exhibition tours for children and young people with specific needs. It is made possible through our partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art and our funding partners. Bella is designed for groups aged between 15-18 years old with disabilities or who are disadvantaged due to financial, social and geographic factors. It runs twice per year with available funding for up to 12 Learning for Life students who participate in a four day art camp held.

Conservatorium of Music - We work with the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney NSW to offer CONverge to up to 60 young people across three Sydney high schools. The program seeks to explore and develop students’ own musical identity, creativity and potential. CONverge is about a bringing together of interest, opportunity, resources and place in the context of music, in this case exploring and using the voice as an instrument.

Artwork by Melbourne high school students
Artwork by Melbourne High school students

All the people [were] there to support me. I made a whole lot of friends. After every day ended, I wanted tomorrow to come quicker!

The 2015 SmArts Outcomes report revealed that:

  • 88% reported an increased level of confidence after participating in SmArts
  • 94% reported that they had increased their creative skills
  • 89% of surveyed students agreed they have more information to continue with their creative interests on their own
Donate now to support more children on Learning for Life programs.

Related links


Young people are linked with a mentor to provide advice and guidance about workplace, study and career opportunities.


Students with an interest in the creative arts are connected with art organisations and provided with access to relevant career information.

Leadership programs

The Smith Family partners with organisations which offer young people the chance to undertake leadership and personal growth experiences.

Work Inspiration

More than just work experience, this business-led initiative provides young people with opportunities to experience the world of work first hand and in a meaningful way.

Learning Clubs

A safe and supportive out-of-school learning environment where primary or secondary students can participate in activities that develop their academic and social skills.

Money for Life

Giving young people financial education early helps them develop the skills and habits they need to better manage their money now and in the future.

1 Heckman, J, Stixrud,J. Sergio, U.(2006) The effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labour Market outcomes and Social Behavior. Journal of Labor Economics, 2006 , vol. 24, no.3, The University of Chicago.

2 Annear, K. (2010) Music, dance, drama: The Benefits of extracurricular participation. Teacher (June/July), 46-50.

3 The Smith Family: Emotional literacy: Building strong relationships for lifelong learning, November 2009.

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