Bedazzle Arts was begun by actor Diane Janssen and art director Phil Janssen in 2006, with the aim of bringing high quality performing arts education to young people in Cambridgeshire and Essex. Diane and Phil were able to draw on their vast experience gained throughout their careers in order to create unique opportunities for young people, for example, supporting students to write a new musical which premiered at Jermyn Street Theatre and was attended by West End theatre producers. In 2009, their 'inclusive approach' was recognised by Cambridgeshire Mencap and they were asked to take over its existing youth group and transform it into a vibrant performing arts group. From here, Bedazzle Arts has kept growing and is now a leader in the region in offering performing arts training and community services to young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who are passionate about the performing arts. In 2019, Bedazzle Arts took an original show to the Edinburgh Fringe receiving rave reviews and a 4* review in the Scotsman. Diane and Phil are passionate about supporting young people with SEND to gain employment in the performing arts industry and support students to access specialist career advice from our sister talent agency iNCLUSIVE TALENT.
As well as performing arts, Bedazzle Arts has also developed its educational arm. In 2016, Dr. Hannah Ware joined Bedazzle bringing with her a wealth of experience in inclusive education in order to support the development of their unique and bespoke individual educational programmes for young people aged 19-25 with complex needs who are not in school. Bedazzle is a registered exam centre for AQA, Arts Award and Trinity Exams (Trinity College London), OCR, and LAMDA, and is commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council and Essex County Council to deliver education via Education, Health and Care plans. Through Bedazzle Arts we aim to ‘instill Confidence’, ‘inspire Creativity’ and ‘increase Communication Skills’ for students accessing both our educational and our performing arts programmes.
Bedazzle Projects is a registered charity set up by Diane and Phil in 2011 with the aim of supporting hard to reach young people to access the performing arts. Bedazzle Projects works with Bedazzle Arts in order to provide scholarships and develop exciting new projects aimed at supporting young people with SEN/D to gain skills from studying the performing arts.