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160 Creative opportunities for Young People across the country

Published: 31 May 2021

A child sits in front of an electronic piano

Image courtesy of Feis Rois

160 projects across the country have been supported, enabling hundreds of children and young people to take part in arts projects, thanks to £690,000 Youth Arts Fund funding from the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland.

Artist led singing, music, dancing, storytelling, circus skills, graffiti art, photography, zine making, film making, weaving, carnival, spoken word, bubble making and concerts for babies and toddlers are among the hundreds of activities being supported across the country over the coming months.

The funding, devolved to 18 organisations in December 2020 to help the recovery of Youth Arts provision, has now been distributed to support 160 local arts projects across the country and is generating employment opportunities for over 170 freelance artists and creative practitioners.

Reaching into all parts of society, supported projects include group music therapy for Young Carers in Aberdeen; comic book art workshops for Young Carers in Lanarkshire; American dance sessions for disabled youth people in Edinburgh; singing classes for young refugees and new Scots living in Glasgow from Mischa Macpherson in partnership with Refuweegee; De-stress and Express relaxing arts with meditation for young people in North Glasgow; carnival flag making sessions with patients in hospital delivered by Rosalind Ann Sanderson; dance classes for young people from Edinburgh’s South Asian community from choreographer and dancer Priya Shrikuma; and online singing workshops for young people aged 17-25 to help improve  mental health, from Iona Fyfe, among many others.

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said: “These vital emergency funds being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government are enabling a strong network of arts and third sector organisations to fund freelance artists to deliver exciting activities with young people during the ongoing pandemic.

“It has been a real privilege to work with these partners to enable a diverse range of projects to happen, ultimately benefitting the young people most adversely impacted by Covid-19 and creating employment opportunities at a time of need. Funding decisions have been made at grassroots level, ensuring projects meet local needs.

“These projects will bring young people together to enjoy art and creative activities, while having fun and making friends at the same time. As well as developing creativity, these experiences will help young people build confidence, self-esteem and nurture health and wellbeing, which is much needed in these stressful times.”

Fiona DalgettyChief Executive of Fèis Rois said: “At Fèis Rois we support people of all ages to access, participate in, enjoy and benefit from the traditional arts and we are delighted that, through this fund we are able to support twelve freelance musicians who will now deliver these incredible musical projects which will really help to make a difference to the young people involved. The projects we were able to fund include singing workshops for refugees and new Scots in Glasgow, an online Scots singing for wellbeing project, early years music making in East Renfrewshire, Perth & Kinross, Glasgow and Highland, and music provision for care experienced young people in Badenoch and Strathspey.”

Mandy ClarkeCreative Project Coordinator, Creative Learning, Aberdeen City Council said: “In Aberdeen we developed the Youth Arts Practitioner Awards (YAPA) this has generated new employment opportunities for fifteen creative practitioners who are excited to inspire and lead on the co – design of their activities with young people in the city. Creative Learning have matched practitioners with a range of host partner organisations with the same desired outcomes. YAPA projects will provide valuable creative approaches to nurturing young people's wellbeing, skills and employment opportunities.

Bryan PetersonHead of Creative OpportunitiesShetland Arts Development Agency, said: “The Youth Small Grants Awards have enabled us to support a variety of local creative practitioners in putting together an exciting and varied programme of youth arts projects which we look forward to launching soon. It’s been a tough year for young folk, and for creative practitioners, but we’re feeling very positive about these projects which will revitalise the youth arts scene here in Shetland.”

Amy Hall Gibson, YMI Coordinator at Angus Council said: “As a rural authority our young people often miss out on the empowering and inspiring opportunities artists provide. This fund is supporting and encouraging diverse experiences enhancing our young people’s learning. Empowering local artists to deliver their own Creative projects enriching opportunities for both artists and our young people to thrive, grow and realise their potential.”


The Small Grants Scheme is part of the Scottish Government’s £4million COVID-19 emergency funding package for Youth Arts, being delivered through Creative Scotland.  The majority of the Youth Arts Fund has been distributed through the Youth Arts Targeted Fund, the Youth Arts Access Fund, the Small Grants Scheme and the Nurturing Talent Fund: New Routes Fund.

The Youth Arts funding is part of a series of emergency funds from the Scottish Government being delivered by Creative Scotland to help mitigate the immediate impacts of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural sector.

More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.

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.

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