Million Boost for Youth Arts

Scotland’s vibrant youth arts and youth work community has received almost £1 million in funding through the new Youth Arts Open Fund

Young People Making Crafts

Scotland’s vibrant youth arts and youth work community has received almost £1 million in funding through the new Youth Arts Open Fund, designed to make art and creativity more inclusive and accessible to children and young people who may have few other opportunities to engage.

Over the next two years, 5,500 children and young people from across Scotland will benefit from a dynamic range of projects designed to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, and to develop confidence and skills.

78 organisations from Brora to the Borders have been awarded a total of £952,316.00. These projects have all received funding for their innovative and creative approaches, putting children and young people at the centre of their own learning and development.

At the heart of the fund are the successful partnerships between youth work organisations and youth arts partners, who will collaborate to deliver unique and inspiring programmes that spark imagination, foster skills development, build confidence and give access to opportunities that many children and young people would otherwise not have been able to experience.

Some of those who have benefited include:

Edinburgh’s Media Education CIC Film Making Project for Young Ukrainians: This initiative provides young Ukrainians a platform to express their stories and perspectives through the art of filmmaking, this project not only gives voice to young people who have experienced conflict but also strengthens global connections.

HighLife Highland’s Recycling Arts Project: Turning Trash into Fashion. This rural youth project will be taking a journey into fashion and sustainability, working with designers and environmentalists to transform discarded materials into high-fashion pieces, this project not only promotes green fashion but also ignites the artistic talents of young people. It showcases the power of creative reimagining while highlighting the importance of responsible fashion.

In Moray, Ron Jappy Gaelic Music-Based Project: Connecting young people to local history and traditions, this project taps into Scotland’s rich cultural heritage, using the beauty of Gaelic music to connect young people to their local culture. It ensures that the roots of Scotland’s past are interwoven with its future generations.

You can find a full list of funded projects here.

Poetry sign in Library

The Youth Arts Open Fund is administered by YouthLink Scotland (the national agency for youth work in Scotland) and is part of Creative Scotland’s wider support for children and young people, funded by the Scottish Government. The purpose of the Youth Arts Open Fund is to support freelance artists or organisations seeking funding so that they can deliver high quality and accessible arts activity for children and young people, prioritising those who have traditionally found it hardest to access such opportunities.

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said:

“I would like to congratulate all the organisations who have received awards from the new Youth Arts Open Fund. There’s an exciting mix of innovative and creative projects across the country to interest and engage our young people. It’s well known that taking part in cultural activities from a young age boosts our wellbeing and helps us to develop valuable life skills.

 “I’m particularly pleased to see that groups of children and young people who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities will have the chance to benefit from these projects.

 “This new funding strand, supported by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, is part of our commitment to expand on the success of the Youth Music Initiative to offer a variety of art forms including film and digital.”

 Jane Dailly, National Grants Manager for YouthLink Scotland commented:

“It’s exciting to see such an incredible breadth of projects, from bereavement support through the Arts to South Asian Dance to a theatre project for young offenders and an exploration of drag culture.

The role of the Arts in broadening young people’s horizons should never be underestimated. It is often through the power of creative experiences that young people realise there is a positive path in life and they can achieve their ambitions despite difficult circumstances they may face.”

 Colin Bradie, Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland added:

 “The youth arts and youth work sectors are intrinsically linked with improving the wellbeing and life chances of Scotland’s children and young people at their centre. There is an astonishing variety of projects awarded in the Youth Arts Open Fund providing infinite potential in those recipients to be bold in their imagination, creativity and their futures.

“Creative Scotland greatly values the opportunity to work in partnership with YouthLink, supported by Scottish Government, enabling both sectors to collaborate in providing meaningful arts and creative paths that tackle barriers to engagement for children and young people.”