Glasgow Youth Arts Festival 2015

Glasgow Youth Arts Film Festival

Glasgow Youth Arts Hub's (GYAH) city wide festival of free youth arts activities kicks off this week. We asked hub producer, Claire O'Hara, to give us the skinny on a festival that's encouraging young people in Glasgow to "get oot their gaffs".

Tell us more about Glasgow Youth Arts Festival?

Glasgow Youth Arts Festival is an exciting three week festival of FREE performances, screenings, exhibitions, creative workshops and projects in 21 venues across Glasgow for children and young people.

The festival is a platform to showcase the creative work of children and young people from throughout the city and helps to shine a spotlight on the work of the grassroots arts organisations delivering free arts based workshops and projects. Throughout the festival there are a variety of workshops and projects aimed at children and young people aged 8-25 which gives them the opportunity to experiment with different art forms, with the aim of signposting them onto to further activity they can access throughout the year.

The performance, screening and exhibition elements of the programme are providing young artists with the opportunity to share their work with other young people and the wider community - building a network of contacts who can come together to collaborate, inspire and develop their creativity in new and exciting ways in the future.

We are supporting emerging young artists in performance, visual art and film to take the lead on two creative projects: a screening event at Platform, Easterhouse, programmed and facilitated by GYAH Youth Committees and GMAC Film Youth team; and a performance project led by Shelby Johnston (age 15), with creative support from Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre. You can find out more about these projects and everything else that’s going on in the festival brochure.

How have young people been involved in the planning and programming of the festival?

The opinions and experiences of young people are at the centre of GYAH and have been since the project was launched by Glasgow CAN in July 2014. We have three youth led committees who have been meeting monthly since September 2014: Youth Empowerment, which explores the barrier to arts participation for young people; Artform Explore, who design and develop taster arts sessions in areas of low provision; and Festival Planning which has been exploring different ideas of what a Youth Arts festival should could be.

Since January 2015, we've brought the committees together to focus on the development of the Youth Arts Festival, agreeing the content and shape of the festival, identifying current provision and exploring ways of engaging with other young people through performance and participation. The committees have produced a short animation with young animator Aiden (GMAC Youth team) to promote the festival, designed and planned the merchandise as well as participated in radio and press interviews. They are also delivering three filming workshops in different areas across the city and have been focusing on developing their planning and facilitation skills. It's inspiring to work alongside such motivated young people and they continue to challenge our perception of what young people want and how we can best deliver on those desires.

The three weeks will come to a close with a day-long Celebration of Creativity at Glasgow Green, can you tell us a bit more about that?

Our “Celebration of Creativity” event brings together young artists, youth groups and creative organisations, as well as the general public, to an extravaganza of performances, workshops and information events.

Our performance tent has 14 different performances throughout the day from young people including dance, Commedia del Arte, theatre, live music, performance art, radio drama and film. It provides young artists with not only a platform to showcase their work to a wider audience, but also the opportunity to see the work of other young people to inspire their own creative development.

We have two participation tents, one for under 12s, the other for 13-18 year olds. Young people will be able to take part in an interactive storytelling session where children share their stories with their parents facilitated by The Village Storytelling Centre and Make and Take Visual Arts session facilitated by Impact Arts. Scottish Youth Theatre will also be presenting Family Storytime which is created and performed by young people.

Our participation tent for 13-18 year olds has a samba taster workshop, graffiti and street art facilitated by Depot Arts, Film in a Day workshop facilitated by New Rhythms for Glasgow with Glasgow Youthtopia, and a sculpture workshop with Creative Cargo. SWAMP will also be giving young people the opportunity to experience the magic of CGI and green screen technology.

We are also focusing on progression for young people aged 16 -25 with a creative industries tent which will give young people the opportunity to learn about progressing onto a career in the creative industries. Our partners from Kelvin College, City of Glasgow College, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow School of Art will be there to offer the wide spectrum of courses available as well as the different routes to further and higher education. And the Creative Scotland Time to Shine team will be on hand to offer advice on the Nurturing Talent Fund and how young people can access support to develop their creative ideas.

More info

For information on the full programme and updates please visit:

As one of the nine Youth Arts Hubs funded through Time to Shine, Glasgow Youth Arts Hub (GYAH) aims to increase the access, quality and quantity of youth arts provision across the city through greater collaboration, inspirational opportunities and effective signposting. Its vision is that the children and young people of Glasgow are seen as pioneers and champions of innovative, dynamic and sustained youth arts practice. 

Glasgow Youth Arts Hub is managed by Glasgow Connected Arts Network CIC, and is partnership project with Depot Arts, GMAC Film, Impact Arts, New Rhythms for Glasgow, Plantation Productions, Platform, Somewhere to_, SWAMP, The Village Storytelling Centre and Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre.

This article was published on 01 Apr 2015