Young people embrace the arts in West Dunbartonshire with #FreshCreations

Boy drumming

We take a look at how a youth arts hub in West Dunbartonshire is transforming access to the arts for young people.

Since it was published in 2013, Time to Shine - Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy, has worked to create opportunities for Scotland’s young people to flourish and achieve in and through the arts and creativity. One of the key elements of delivering Time to Shine was the establishment of nine youth arts hubs to act as focal points for activity across Scotland.

West Dunbartonshire’s youth arts hub – called #FreshCreations - was born out of local youth organisation Y Sort It, and a recognition that there was a lack of creative and accessible opportunities for young people in the area. With the support of Time to Shine, Y Sort It collaborated with young people, schools, venues, art workers and various other partners from the community to establish #FreshCreations as a youth-led organisation for the whole area.

Throughout 2015/16 #FreshCreations rolled out a pioneering free-to-access workshop programme to create opportunities across the region - allowing young people of all ages and at all levels of experience to develop themselves and work in art, literature, music and more.

Hundreds of young people took part, gaining new experiences, skills, confidence and relationships. Feedback gathered identified that the programme had helped to transform participants’ perception of the arts, sparking interest in potential new career paths in the arts and creative industries.

The impact of #FreshCreations and its workshop programme has been absolutely transformative in a region that previously offered young people little access to the arts, with the hub engaging with 1,657 young people and offering more than 75 different types of arts workshops in between its launch in October 2014 until February 2016.

This article was published on 30 Mar 2016