YAVs report from the TTS Unconvention

YAVS at TTS Unconvention, Photo credit: Eoin Carey

On Thursday 20 October 2016, young people, artists, creatives, youth workers, teachers, organisations and charities working with children and young people across Scotland gathered together in Glasgow to celebrate the success of Time to Shine, Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy at the first ever TTS Unconvention.

Vital to the success of the day were Time to Shine’s national youth arts advisory group ‘Youth Arts Voice Scotland’ (YAVS), who played a key role in planning, evolving and delivering this youth-led event. Here four YAVS tell us about their experience of TTS Unconvention and Time to Shine…

YAVS host TTS Unconvention, photo: Eoin Carey

Blair Boyle: "There is only one word I can use to describe the TTS Unconvention and, appropriately put, that is unconventional!

“YAVS had the mammoth task of delivering the first ever TTS Unconvention and I think it’s safe to say it was our pleasure. Helping to host and accommodate the greatest and most innovative young talent in Scotland all supported through the Time to Shine strategy really put the work we’ve done over the past two years in perspective. All the commitment and hard work of all the projects and, most importantly, the young people involved shone through.

“My personal highlight from the event was seeing the various ways the funding has been used across Scotland, how different areas and different people have responded to the overall theme of Time to Shine – breaking down barriers. The overall discussions had a wide variety of participants and had some interesting outcomes and some valuable shared learning for making the most of Time to Shine in the remaining eight years we have of this strategy.”

Help Me Shine Discussion at TTS Unconvention, photo: Eoin Carey

Lauren Ross: “I was involved in the planning of the TTS Unconvention from the beginning as a YAV, but I was also lucky enough to be offered the role of event assistant for the project. The months planning flew by and when it came around it was hard to believe the spreadsheet on my laptop had become the live venue full of passionate voices and stunning artwork.

“Time to Shine has made some big changes and engaged some truly inspiring people. The atmosphere on the day was so supportive because everyone connected through a shared passion for youth arts. There is still a lot to be done, highlighted through the panel discussions and feedback, with suggestions including further youth arts provision for children and early years, and stronger practice of social inclusion.

“On a personal note, the day challenged me to use new skills, such as performing under pressure, public speaking, coordinating others and multi-tasking, which have all been nurtured by my involvement with Time to Shine”

“My highlights have to include seeing my fellow YAVS take to the stage as the official hosts of the Unconvention and the closing performances by Nurturing Talent Fund recipients Bella and the Bear, Iona Fyfe and Ellen Renton.

“Now that the Unconvention has past, there is naturally a sense of loss, but it only marked the end of the beginning and there is still much to look forward to.”

Panel at TTS Uncon, photo Eoin Carey

Joshua Ford said: “Exhilarating. Climatic. Perfection. These three words wrap up for me exactly what #TTSUncon was. There was opportunity to watch a fantastic piece of performance art unfold right in front of you, there was chance to celebrate everything we have all achieved in the last two years and it was the perfect way to celebrate the journey we have taken together, as a family of TTS projects.

“TTS Unconvention was not a finale for project. It was a celebration of the ongoing fantastic working being done across Scotland, in multiple art forms by young people and the people who work with them.

“Time to Shine has supported thousands of young people to realise their own potential and has make a difference to so many lives, through employment and experience. Meeting project leaders, participants and creators throughout the day was hugely inspiring and made me see everyone has a story, and Time to Shine is the ideal platform for all these stories to come together and to create new and inspiring work across a thriving youth arts sector in Scotland.”

Let Me In Discsussion at TTS Unconvention, photo: Eoin Carey

Ellen Wilson said: “It was fascinating to see live performances and demonstrations of the fantastic work that the Time to Shine strategy supported at TTS Unconvention. The sheer talent and capability of Scotland's young people is astounding.

“The event clearly shows that with the right support, the art these young people create can take you into a whole other world. The panels and discussions that occurred throughout the day were full of passion and vision for youth arts, from both adults and young people alike, creating a vital link for the continuation of youth arts and the Time to Shine strategy.

“I felt incredibly proud of my fellow YAVS, the team at Young Scot, Creative Scotland, and everyone who was a part of the event as it simply would not be been the same without the individual contribution of every member of the team. No one left without being inspired. There was a new found energy which emerged in every person who attended, to strive onwards and continue the successful work. The fire was ignited and I can only hope that it will continue to burn.”

Take a look at our photo gallery from TTS Unconvention.

Find out more about Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy Time to Shine.

This article was published on 04 Nov 2016