Research shows that young people who participate in the arts are more resilient, healthier, do better in school, are more connected to their communities, are more likely to vote, to go to university, to get a job and keep it. Access should be unaffected by class, income, race, disability, or location. But the complexity of engaging diverse groups of young people means many are missing out on opportunities.
The Arts Council England’s 2020-2030 “Let’s Create” strategy shares their intention to “invest in a cultural sector that is more relevant to all of England’s communities, especially those that have been historically underserved by public investment in culture.” In 2021 Spotlight was awarded funding from the Arts Council England to explore challenges and approaches to engaging diverse groups of young people with arts programming. The research examines Creative Youth Work as a distinct practice, combining elements of Youth Work and creative facilitation.
The report: “Creative Youth Work – Increasing inclusivity and relevance for young people accessing cultural provision” explores Creative Youth Work to answer the question: What is Creative Youth Work and how does it engage young people with the arts?
The youth and arts & culture sector can do more to create equal access to the abundant creative opportunities out there for young people. This report invites artists, youth workers, youth centres and cultural organisations to reflect on their own practices and relationships with young people and their communities.