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International Youth Arts Festival Announcement

A group of dancers on stage bathed in dramatic purple light
Photo: Tangle Photography

We’re thrilled to announce that applications for the 13th International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) will open from Monday 9th November.  

It has been a challenging year for the arts, and we hope you are all well. Thank you everyone for joining our International Youth Arts Festival: Digifest in July. Digifest was a wonderful opportunity to continue presenting and supporting young artists, and we will take this digital experience forward to enrich all future festivals.  

For International Youth Arts Festival 2021 we are committed to continue our work and adapt our vision for the festival to the various situations which could face us in terms of the Covid–19 pandemic. We encourage all potential applicants to think creatively with us, and we welcome all your ideas and questions.  

Our new look festival will be split into 3 categories: Indoor, Outdoor and Digital:

For International Youth Arts Festival 2021 we can’t wait to hear your ideas for indoor performances. Do you also have a vision for your piece that could potentially accommodate a socially distanced audience? Have you also thought about a more experimental / immersive style?  

We are also interested in work that can be performed in various outside spaces and we aim to expand our Outdoor Programme across the stunning town of Kingston Upon Thames. It may be theatre, music, comedy, visual arts, dance, circus and morecould your performance be adapted to an outdoor performance?  

Have you developed some new digital ideas? Alongside the live festival we intend to present an International Youth Arts Festival: Digifest 2021. How could your performance also fit a digital platform? 

So please, think boldly and out of the box, and use your brilliant creative minds to come up with as many exciting and surprising projects as possible for the application process opening on 9th November 2020. If you have any questions or want to run any idea by us before then, we’d love to hear from you at 

We can’t wait to all come together in Summer 2021! 

International Youth Arts Festival Programming Team 

Creative Youth receives Culture Recovery Fund

Creative Youth receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund  


Creative Youth has been awarded a grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.  

Creative Youth is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.  

Creative Youth is the Kingston-based charity that exists to enable young people, aged 5 – 26, to realise their potential through the arts, involving them in innovative, original and ambitious projects. 

The charity produces high quality programmes to showcase young creatives and offer opportunities for all young people to build confidence and skills through involvement and participation in the arts. Some of the current initiatives include the Creative Talent Programme, which offers artistic, business and strategic support to young emerging artists, and the International Youth Arts Festival which takes place each July.  

International Youth Arts Festival hosts over 150 events each year for and by young people. 2020 saw the introduction of International Youth Arts Festival: Digifest, an online showcase of creative work produced during lockdown. Digifest resulted in a wealth of international collaborations and will form an important part of the festival in future years. 


 Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.  

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.” 

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.” 

Chair, Creative Youth, Robin Hutchinson, said:
“We are grateful for this support and for the recognition it gives to the charity and our work which will be even more vital in the future. The need to provide opportunities and support for young people will only grow and it is vital that these are open, accessible and provide platforms for people to realise their talents and ambitions as we rebuild after Covid-19.” 

Chief Executive, Creative Youth, Louise Coles, said:
“This funding ensures that Creative Youth and International Youth Arts Festival are in a position to be able to continue providing fundamental opportunities for young people to access the arts during these challenging timesandin particularto ensure that more young people and audiences from diverse backgrounds at a local, national, international level can participate and are not marginalised. 

Creative Youth will continue to be there for the young people who need us, and this support will also allow the specific development of much needed digital resources which will be available for free to all young people via our website. This includes, for example, our So You Wanna Work in the Arts programme, a series of free online webinars discussing key industry issues that affect young people, which ware able to now launch at the end of October 2020. 

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. 

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at 

Creative Youth is a charity that aims to enable young people to realise their potential through the Arts. The charity, based in Kingston upon Thames, allows young people aged 5-26, to be involved in innovative, original, ambitious projects working with artists of the highest quality. Find out more at and 

For press queries about Creative Youth, including interview requests and images, email or 07792 621350 

Calling all young creatives

Are you aged 16-26 and wanting to make your mark in the creative industries? Do you consider yourself a cultural innovator or an inspiring leader? Is your head bursting with artistic ideas? Do you want to make a difference in the artsIf so, read on...

Creative Youth is seeking artistic, aspiringemerging and motivated creatives to be part of our YOUNG CREATIVES panel. You will assist in driving forward new artistic ideas and plans, including involvement in our International Youth Arts Festival.  

We are looking for young people from theatre, music, dance, visual art or any artistic background to join us. We want this team to represent all walks of life, so want to hear from individuals from ALL backgrounds. Diversity and Equality is at the heart of our organisation so we truly want this group to be representative of all.  

This opportunity is open for everyone, at any stage of your career. This is for creatives, artists, practitioners, producers, directors, backstage crew, fundraisers, literally anyone who has an interest in a career in the arts.  

YOUNG CREATIVES will be facilitated and supported by professionals in the sector and there are substantial learning opportunities to be involved in other aspects of Creative Youth’s work.  


If you are interested, and aged 16 – 26, send us a one-page letter outlining: 

  • Why you think you would benefit from being on our YOUNG CREATIVES team  
  • What you think you could contribute?  
  • Where you want to be in 5 years time?  
  • A little about yourself – what experience you may have had in the arts and creative industries and what career path you may want to go down/where you will be in 5 years’ time? 

Deadline: Sunday, 12th October, 12pm. Email your letter to marked Young Creatives 2020 Application in the subject line. 

We will then set up a zoom chat with our shortlisted applicants at a date TBC in October. 

We anticipate that YOUNG CREATIVES will meet a minimum of bimonthly over Zoom initially, However, there will be physical meetings in our Kingston offices in the future, so if you are an applicant outside of London please bear this in mind.  We ask for minimum of a 2-year commitment/maximum 3. 

We will provide a small financial allocation for each person’s participation and will cover travel expenses and other out of pocket costs. Creative Youth will also provide any key training or other support for the group and individual members, as necessary. This is a great opportunity where you can gain invaluable experience in the arts, and develop your CV with a hugely reputable arts organisation in the arts sector 

If you have any questions in the meantime please contact Tom at 


Creative Talent Programme 2020-21 Artists announced

Creative Talent Programme 2020-21 artists announced

Creative Youth is excited to announce our new Creative Talent Programme (CTP) artists/companies for 2020-21.

After all the trials and tribulations of 2020 we are so grateful to still be able to launch this initiative with support from Arts Council England. We were inundated with incredible applications from across the country and the final three were chosen by an independent panel of arts professionals.

The CTP identifies young and emerging artists and organisations who have the potential to become excellent creative practitioners and exciting entrepreneurs in the arts sector through providing them with considerable artistic, business and strategic support *. Further information on the CTP and previously supported companies/artists can be found here.

In 2020-21, Creative Youth will support Boudicca Pepper, Hannah Raymond-Cox, and One Last One. The 20-21 programme particularly focuses on working with underrepresented artists and artforms. All artists/ companies had to incorporate an element of Dance, Circus or Music within their proposed projects.

The 2020-2021 Creative Talent Programme artists are:

Hannah Raymond-Cox
Hannah Raymond-Cox is a queer Hong-Kong born Jewish poet, actor, and theatre-maker. Highlights of her careers include a Southbank Centre poetry commission, Barbican Young Poets 2019/20, developing interactive immersive theatre games with Parabolic Theatre, and she stars in the Dungeons and Dragons liveplay show Adventurers Wanted: Undergods. Her 5-star solo spoken word theatre show POLARIS has toured the UK and enjoyed a full Edinburgh Fringe run at the Scottish Poetry Library. Her debut poetry book, Amuse Girl, was published last year by Burning Eye Books. Hannah’s work focuses on food, mental health, queerness, and memory.

One Last One
One Last One is a new group of award-winning Hong Kong artists set up in response to the rapid changes in the territory. They use dance and theatre to tell captivating stories and humanise complex social issues. They are passionate about human rights and influencing positive social change as well as amplifying underrepresented voices. As a new collective they are excited to be finding their voice through collaboration. They are committed to being curious and experimenting with bold and innovative approaches to bring new ideas to life.

Boudicca Pepper
Boudicca is a Sussex-based activist, rapper and singer-songwriter who found her voice, following a childhood marked by crisis through the vibrant Hip Hop scene in her hometown Brighton. Known for her incendiary megaphone raps at demonstrations Boudicca released her debut EP The Princess & The P in 2018. Her powerful live performances (vocal and megaphone based) secured her international attention and shows with Kate Tempest, at the Edinburgh Fringe (with Poets & M.C.’s), Democracy Alive (The Netherlands), Youth Strike 4 Climate and Extinction Rebellion.

Boudicca campaigns for equality, climate justice and to support women in the male-dominated music industry. Her debut album Pushing Up Daisies came out on Collective Mind Records earlier this year. Boudicca is currently in the studio with Jimmy Day (who produced Massive Attack) working on her next single Party Like The World is Ending.


*The final 3 will receive:

– £2,000 to develop a piece of creative work
– Support across a year of activity with inclusion in International Youth Arts Festival
– Support from a bespoke, art-form specific, industry mentor
– Access to free office space
– Access to free rehearsal space
– Professional development workshops

Creative Talent Programme 20-21


Creative Youth are delighted to announce that applications are open for our Creative Talent Programme for 2020-2021. We are searching for three new and exciting emerging or early career companies/artists to support.

We are particularly keen to support emerging artists/companies from outside of London/ M25 and/or, artists/companies who identify as D/deaf or disabled and/or work focused on this. We are also aiming to focus on underrepresented art forms, so the piece the artist/company wants to develop, needs to include an element of either dancecircus or music.

The Creative Talent Programme 2020 – 2021 is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England and will work in partnership with the Royal Borough of Kingston Council, Kingston University, Kingston First, the Rose Theatre Kingston and Kingston College.

Find out more