Time To Shine - Scotland’s first national arts strategy for young people launched today

Published: 18 Feb 2014

Time To Shine, Scotland’s arts strategy for young people aged 0–25, was launched today by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and Janet Archer, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland.

At the launch, it was announced that youth arts in Scotland will benefit from £5m new funding from Scottish Government over the next two years and that this funding will support initiatives based on key objectives of the strategy. The initiatives are: 

  • A major new open fund for organisations to develop new routes for young people to participate in and access arts and creative activity.  Applications to the fund will open early in the New Year, via the Creative Scotland   website
  • The development of a new national digital platform to showcase and connect young people engaged in youth arts activity
  • The establishment of a National Youth Advisory Group (NYAG). A group of young representatives from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be tasked with making recommendations on the make-up and      role of the NYAG, working in partnership with Creative Scotland

Going forwards, individual organisations will implement additional initiatives based on objectives in the strategy, with all work co-ordinated by a new, soon to be established youth arts programme management team.

The full strategy and accompanying documentation can be accessed and downloaded here.

Fiona Hyslop,Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“The launch of Scotland’s first ever youth arts strategy is an exciting moment. At its heart, the strategy promotes the real benefits and value culture can have on the development of our young people and our communities.

“The Scottish Government recognises the positive impact that arts and creativity can have and the strategy will, for the first time, provide strategic direction, vision and resources so that we can engage and inspire a whole new generation. Time to Shine builds on the well-established links between culture, education, youth employment and personal development. 

“It is not only about providing enhanced access opportunities for all of Scotland’s young people but it goes further to support meaningful career pathways for our talent of the future; be it on stage, the screen, behind the scenes or in our world-leading creative industries. 

“Perhaps most importantly of all, our aim is that this engagement with culture will nurture personal qualities that will help our young people to grow confidently as citizens and towards realising their ambitions, wherever they lie in the arts or elsewhere.”

Janet Archer, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland, said:

“Today’s launch of Time To Shine follows on the back of amazing work already taking place in youth arts in this country and the skills, dedication and energy of people of all ages involved throughout Scotland.

“Creative Scotland aims to ensure that this work continues and develops through the Time to Shine strategy. Putting young people at the heart of Scotland’s creative future will mean young people’s lives will continue to be enriched through engagement in arts and creative activity across Scotland.”

Read an extract of Janet Archer's launch speech.

16-year old Tom Strang from Granton-on-Spey, who takes part in arts activity with Eden Court Theatre and is one of the young people advising on the make up of the National Youth Advisory Group, said:

 “The arts give me a way to express myself through music, drama and dance. I hope that this strategy is taken on board by all arts provision providers in Scotland and reaches out to engage people who may not have had the opportunity to access the arts before. I also hope that it will lead to a future of even more high quality art being produced in Scotland.”

20 year old Jocelyn Gowans from Glasgow who works with YDance, said:

“Being involved in the arts means being part of a bigger picture, it expands your horizons.  I hope this strategy will bring art forms together so that practitioners can coexist and create a world of endless imagination and inspiration for Scotland’s young people”.

Follow the conversation via #timetoshine


Notes to Editors

The catalyst for the production of this strategy stems from a discussion paper in 2009 called Shaping Tomorrow, Today submitted to the Scottish Government by Scottish Youth Theatre, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, YDance and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Creative Scotland was then asked by the Scottish Government to lead on the drafting of a strategy for Scotland that would create a framework for collaborative working and the development of the arts for children and young people across all artforms including the performing arts, film, visual arts and literature.  In order to fulfil this remit, Creative Scotland initiated a national discussion.  Time To Shine encapsulates the thoughts and ideas that emerged through that discussion with, and between, Scotland’s young people and the organisers, supporters and deliverers of Scotland’s youth arts sector.

Throughout the national discussion the following three key questions were asked:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How will we get there?

This enabled all participants to reflect on what is currently done well, what could be improved and what still needs to be done to achieve our ambitions.

The creation of this strategy would not have been possible without the expertise, knowledge and passion of the 1,802 stakeholders (including 859 young people) who contributed. The strategy has been further informed by consultation and research.

Further background on the strategy’s vision, key messages and intentions are evidenced in the supporting document Time to Shine: What’s behind it. This summary of the research and reference papers behind Time to Shine along with an animation and graphic novel is available online here.

Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. For further information on Creative Scotland please visit creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and facebook.com/CreativeScotland.