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Youth Arts Now - Background

Youth Arts Now is an initiative which aims to support the research and future development of youth arts policy and practice in Ireland.


It is aimed at youth arts practitioners, youth arts groups, leaders, stakeholders and young  people . It will develop a series of 'ground-up' policies for youth arts in Ireland, a strategy that could support the development of sustainable funding for youth arts. It's aims also are to raise the profile and the importance of the youth arts sector and establish an effective network for lobbying and mutual supports for youth arts practitioners and organisations.


Youth Arts Now is currently a working group consisting of Waterford Youth Arts and the Waterford City & County Arts Office, Creative Waterford, Arts Offices of Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford.


Central to the process is the voice of the young person. Beginning with exploratory 'sit downs' with young local arts participants and then having to adapt to the 'lockdown' scenarios we have evolved our communications in such a way that it can capture data across a wider geographical spectrum better and more efficiently. This allows us to fine hone the mechanisms for youth participation. Youth Arts Now prioritises the engagement of young people, allowing for their full participation and engagement in the design and direction of the project.

Informed by the findings of an initial three month research and data collection project in 2020 resourced collectively by the Arts Officers of Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford Councils and Creative Waterford. 

Photo of Mollie Molumby

Mollie Molumby - Author of Youth Arts Now - A Research Project on Youth Arts in Ireland Today and The Potential for a Professional Youth Arts Network.  Click the button below to read the full Report.

Next Stage 2021 Collaboration Research and Development Phase

In 2021 we propose to carry out a practical research project which will combine data collection and dissemination of good models internationally of youth arts networks, funding models and youth arts policies. This research and data will then be interrogated by the YA Network that includes the opportunity for the contribution and participation of young people, to present and to celebrate models that will work in Ireland.

We will also initially focus on the South East and develop practical collaborations and good models of youth arts working together. We will use the 'Invitation to Collaboration scheme' grant to help create an innovative model for young people to inform policy decisions that affect their future and inform a conference and celebration of youth arts in early 2022. This event will aim to kickstart a national campaign for youth arts recognition and support over the next three years.

This Research and Development phase is funded through the Arts Council's 'An Invitation to Collaboration Scheme' grant to Waterford City and County Council Arts Office.

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