Joan Parr, Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland, talks about the special synergy between the arts and youth work.
The value of youth work
Looking at the youth work outcomes and at what we want to achieve at Creative Scotland through ‘Time To Shine’, our youth art strategy for young people, there is real common purpose and shared approach. We all want to support and empower young people to be confident individuals, to have the opportunity to contribute and have their voice heard, to have fun and to be responsible citizens. We at Creative Scotland know that arts can effectively bring about these outcomes and that partnership with the youth work sector extends and adds value to what we do.
The benefits of youth work and the arts working together
In order to deliver high quality programmes that achieve the best outcomes for young people partnering with the youth work sector is crucial. Both youth workers and artists bring extensive skills and expertise to bear that can transform the lives of young people. Working together they can achieve more than they could separately. The value of professional collaboration is clear at every level, from looking at the similarities in desired outcomes in youth work strategic documents and youth arts strategic documents, to seeing the impact on young people taking part in youth arts activity. We are particularly pleased at the increase over the last few years in the levels of youth empowerment in decision-making.
The ambition of ‘Time To Shine’, our youth arts strategy, is that all young people in Scotland have access to high quality arts experiences and we believe very strongly that equality underpins all that we do. We want every young person in Scotland to have access to those opportunities and to have that enrichment in their lives. I think it’s that partnership between ourselves and the youth work sector, with our shared ambitions, that can really achieve that.
Artcore (Edinburgh) – have worked to develop a youth training initiative which builds on the ‘Out of the Blue Drill Hall’ cafe training model. 16 young people will undertake training and work experience integrated into #artcore programmes. The project is aimed at the most excluded groups who face the most barriers to involvement in the arts, and capitalises on the work of the #artcore project partners throughout the city, specifically with the Thistle Foundation who work with people with disabilities to support their independence. The first Thistle Foundation supported trainee started in March 2016. A bespoke training programme has been designed for the young person’s needs.
FreshCreations – this project offers free travel and workshops for all. They work closely with other youth organisations and services to target some of the hardest to reach/disengaged young people in West Dunbartonshire. They work in partnership with children’s units (Prep For Life) and alternative educational services (The Choices Programme), to work with young people at risk of antisocial behaviour or isolation. They are also using the ‘Y Sort It’ youth project bus to travel to smaller communities to deliver art workshops in more isolated communities.
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Joan Parr’s article is taken from the latest The Link, the youth work sector’s magazine, you can read the full magazine here: http://ow.ly/iYRH301I9RJ