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Programme available for Youth Arts virtual festival UNCON 3.0

Published: 19 Jan 2021

UNCON 3.0 29-39 January 2021

UNCON 3.0 is the third iteration of a biannual festival, designed for and by young people, celebrating the best in youth arts and creativity in Scotland. The event will be available online at ttsuncon.com.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous impact on every aspect of children and young people’s lives, including on art provision, and their opportunities to participate and progress within the arts, screen and creative industries.

During the virtual UNCON on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 January 2021, partners from across the youth arts sector will share reflections on the challenges of the past year and consider how children’s voices and aspirations can be heard in the recovery process.

The partner organisations are: Media Education, Intercultural Youth Scotland, Collective, Arts End of Somewhere/PAMIS, Glasgow Connected Arts Network, Starcatchers, Fèis Rois/Highland Youth Arts Hub and CELCIS.

The programme will feature a mix of pre-filmed and live performances, presentations and panel discussions, artwork and manifestos created by children and young people.

Children, young people, policy makers and anyone with an interest in children and young people’s rights are invited to join the conversation. The programme includes live events which are free to access. Full details of the programme and information about how to register is available in the UNCON 3.0 Programme.

Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois said: “Young people from Fèis Rois and the Highland Youth Arts Hub have taken part in every UNCON to date, and we are excited to participate online this year. Overcoming the challenging move to a digital event, the team at Creative Scotland have put together an ambitious programme and we are excited for the audience to see the video our young people have created.”

Katie Brennan, Collective said: "For this year’s UNCON, we’ve been working in partnership with Edinburgh Young Carers on a postal project, asking young people to reflect on their experiences of lockdown and hopes for the future through mail art. We look forward to UNCON as a space in which the hopes, concerns and priorities of young people from all backgrounds will be heard by organisations and policy makers."

Paul Sullivan, CELCIS said “We know the importance of creativity in helping children and young people to develop new skills, express themselves and have fun. COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on every aspect of children and young people’s lives, including their opportunities to access creativity. Our hope for UNCON is that through showcasing the creative skills of a number of talented care experienced young people and projects, we can further highlight the need for creative opportunities to be protected for children and young people all across Scotland.”

Sarah Mcadam, Time to Shine Manager, Creative Scotland said: “As with so many things, the lead in to this UNCON has felt very different to previous years. We know that the coronavirus will continue to have a significant impact on children and young people’s futures and it’s more important than ever to make sure we are listening to what is important to their lives.  As this UNCON takes place at the beginning of a new decade, we look forward to working with a youth arts sector that meets these challenges head-on and continues to support Scotland’s children and young people to thrive in and through the arts and creativity.”

UNCON 3.0 is an outcome of Time to Shine – Scotland's National Youth Arts Strategy.


The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. https://www.national-lottery.co.uk/

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

Time to Shine is the National Youth Arts Strategy for Scotland. The aim is to support all of Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve through arts and creativity. Young people lead the development of Time to Shine and have been key to creating this exciting event. Find out more about Time to Shine .

The establishment of a National Youth Arts Advisory Group was a key outcome of Time to Shine. Youth arts advisors have been selected from communities across the country to guide the delivery of Time to Shine in collaboration with Young Scot and Creative Scotland. This group is now playing a crucial role in shaping the future of arts for young people in Scotland. Find out more about NYAGG.

The NYAAG lead with the Nurturing Talent Fund for young people aged 11-25 years. The funding, administered by Young Scot, offers awards to those who demonstrate ambition, enthusiasm or talent in their chosen art form and require some financial support to develop or promote this further.