What it's like to work as part of the NYAAG

First, some NYAAG history: The National Youth Arts Advisory Council was originally founded in 2014 under the name ‘Youth Arts Voice Scotland’ (YAVS).

Young Scot were commissioned by Creative Scotland to manage NYAAG, and a total of 15 young people were selected from across Scotland through an open recruitment process to support and provide feedback to the implementation phase of Time to Shine - the National Youth Arts Strategy.

Creativity and the confidence to use it are very important to helping people develop coping mechanisms- Hannah Poyner, NYAAG

During that time, YAVS had four main roles:

  • Inform future development of Time To Shine
  • Assess the implementation phase of Time to Shine based on identified outcomes
  • Influence the strategic actions of Time to Shine (such as the Nurturing Talent Fund)
  • Influence, curate and manage project work relating to delivery, such as digital activity and hosting the UNCON, the national children and young people’s arts conference.

In May 2017, the group was renewed and renamed as the National Youth Arts Advisory Group (NYAAG), and has continued to be managed by Young Scot. Now, there are 35 members, and the programme is flourishing.

Taking youth arts seriously

Being part of NYAAG gives young people the opportunity to develop their strategic thinking, their leadership skills and their understanding of the arts sector.

19-year-old Hannah Poyner from Inverness is a proud member of NYAAG.

She says she initially found out about the project when she was looking to replace her YoungScot card. “However, I saw the recruitment graphics for the arts advisory group and decided to apply for that instead,” she says. “It seemed interesting and something that I would be good at.”

Hannah believes that the NYAAG is important as it represents a key demographic: young people who are passionate about the arts. She says that youth arts needs to be taken seriously, as it “can have such a positive effect on people’s lives, and is a vital part of development for young people.

“The NYAAG ensure that everyone can have equal opportunities, the arts are represented correctly and that support, both financial and governmental, is given when needed.”

Creativity and confidence

Hannah says that she has had a lot of opportunities to experience the arts in a variety of ways. “It is only due to these that I have been able to learn to deal with both emotional and physical illness and pain,” she says.

“Creativity and the confidence to use it are very important to helping people develop coping mechanisms for dealing with life, stress and pain.

"It is also great way to express identity and gain self awareness. Therefore, creativity is very important as to me as it helps me be who I am.”

This article was published on 13 Dec 2018