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UNCON 2.0: Celebrating Scotland’s young artists

Published: 21 Sep 2018

Young people, artists, creatives, youth workers, teachers, organisations and charities working with children and young people across Scotland will gather together in Perth tomorrow, Saturday 22 September 2018, to celebrate and showcase some of the amazing young talent from all over Scotland.

UNCON 2.0 has been created by the National Youth Arts Advisory Group, a collective of 30 volunteers aged 15-24 from across Scotland, united by a passion for the arts, as part of the Year of Young People 2018.

Hosted at Perth Theatre, the day will feature a series of over 30 performances, screenings, panel discussions and debates from a range of youth arts projects supported by Creative Scotland. Youth arts groups performing on the day include Tinderbox Orchestra, Scottish Dance Theatre and The Ceilidh Trail with Fèis Rois, alongside international speakers from Denmark and Germany.

UNCON 2.0 is a fitting celebration of both the contribution of National Youth Arts Advisory Group as well as the wide and diverse talent of Scotland’s young artists- Colin Bradie, Creative Scotland

The event is a key outcome of Time to Shine – Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy.  Launched in November 2013, its core purpose is to enrich young people’s lives through arts and creativity. It recognises that engagement with the arts and creativity has huge benefits for individuals and society that cross many national agendas.

The event coincides with the publication of an evaluation of the National Youth Arts Advisory Group model commissioned by Creative Scotland and written by Northern Star. Key successes from the model include:

  • A key impact has been the delivery of the Nurturing Talent Fund as a youth-led funding stream, which has awarded over £63,700 to more than 200 young people since 2014.
  • The National Youth Arts Advisory Group has pioneered the concept of young people working alongside adults on collaborative projects in the arts sector in Scotland. Young people have been empowered to the point of expressing a desire to control the agenda, to influence the sector, to make their voice heard.
  • Three key areas of benefit to young people are evident through National Youth Arts Advisory Group: increased confidence, broader experience and pathways for progression.

To view the full evaluation report, go to creativescotland.com/timetoshine.

For the Year of Young People 2018, National Youth Arts Advisory Groups will be launching their 'youth led' vision for the future of youth arts.

Speaking at the event, Edinburgh based 20-year-old Lauren Ross, National Youth Arts Advisory Group member commented: “Since the success of the very first Unconvention event in 2016, we’ve been imagining how we could make Uncon2.0 even better, especially with it being Scotland’s Year of Young People.

As before, the NYAAG have been at the heart of the event’s design process and are prepped to be the face of the delivery team. This year, all speakers and performers will be under the age of twenty-six, making it a truly youth-led event that’s by young people, for young people.

We developed UNCON 2.0 with feedback gathered from the previous event, so we’re confident it will be even bigger and better than before. We’re so excited to see our vision brought to life on Saturday and can’t wait for everyone to join us, have fun, learn, share and be inspired!”

Colin Bradie, Interim Head of Creative Learning, Creative Scotland, said: “In the Year of Young People 2018 the UNCON 2.0 is a fitting celebration of both the contribution of National Youth Arts Advisory Group as well as the wide and diverse talent of Scotland’s young artists.

Time to Shine, Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy, places young people at the centre of the strategy’s aims and ambitions. The delivery of UNCON 2.0 and the National Youth Arts Advisory Groups role in strategic decision making is an exciting example of devolved decision-making to young people.  This is an event for young people and by young people, supported by Creative Scotland.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot commented: “We are delighted that the National Youth Arts Advisory Group are delivering their UNCON 2.0 during the Year of Young People. They are leading examples of young people taking power and using it in fantastically creative ways to highlight the contributions of other young artists across Scotland.

Our partnership with Creative Scotland continues to deliver on our vision to put young people front and centre of the decision-making which affects them. UNCON 2.0 is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the cultural contributions of young people and offers is a further illustration of the ground-breaking activity taking place throughout this year.”