Category: News

Creative Talent Programme 2021-22: New artists announced

We’re excited to announce the three young artists we will support this year as part of our Creative Talent Programme, which offers artform-specific industry mentoring, business and strategic support and £2000 to develop a piece of creative work. This year, the programme’s focus is artists making work in the fields of film and visual arts.

The Creative Talent Programme was launched in 2009 to identify young and emerging artists and companies who have the potential to become excellent creative practitioners and give them the artistic, business and strategic support to become flourishing, challenging, exciting organisations of the future. Although Creative Youth is based in Kingston-upon-Thames, applicants for the programme can be based anywhere in the UK and there has been a particular focus in recent years to encourage participants from outside London to apply.

Previous Creative Talent Programme companies/artists have included award-winning puppetry company Smoking Apples, theatre company Dumbshow, What is Written Dance, and Circus Suburbia.

This year, the Creative Talent scheme will support the following artists:

  • Writer, filmmaker and actor Scar Ward, who specialises in writing for young people and explores disability, dysfunctional families, and queer themes in their work.
  • Jordy Deelight who creates performance-based work for theatre and television, looking at identity and persona in the art of drag and exploring themes of disability, gender and mental health in autobiographical theatre.
  • Photographer Chiyana Ankhrah whose work is focused on challenging and destabilising Eurocentric beauty standards by uplifting and empowering Black women who have been historically left out of the fashion and beauty industries while addressing and challenging stereotypes around Black mental health.

Speaking about the Creative Talent Programme, CEO of Creative Youth Louise Coles said “As we know young people and young artists have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic, through unemployment, mental health issues and subsequently many feeling a loss of a sense of purpose, so it has been important for us at Creative Youth to ensure we have remained “open for business” providing the much needed stability and support during this time – our Creative Talent programme has been and continues to be a key part of this mission.”

whatshisface theatre company, who were a Creative Talent Programme Company in 2020-21 said “The Creative Talent Programme has helped us navigate through a very difficult period and their support couldn’t have come at a better time. I really admire what Creative Youth do, which is put their artists first. Really recommend this for any artist looking to broaden their networks and strengthen their body of work, all with a bespoke mentorship.”

International Youth Arts Festival returns to Kingston for 2021!

International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) is back this July and we can’t wait to celebrate the return of live performance with you!


Join us for a summer filled with theatre, circus, puppetry, music and more by talented emerging artists from across the country.  IYAF will bring the Rose Theatre and outdoor locations across the town centre alive with brilliant stories and performances for all ages 

Don’t know where to begin? This year’s festival highlight, HOTEL PARADISO, is a critically acclaimed hilarious and fun circus spectacular for all the family – BOOK NOW

Tickets are now on sale for the 13th festival taking place around Kingston.  After an unprecedented year, we are delighted to be returning with live performance for all the family.

Tickets are available from Rose Theatre Box Office, and there is information about all of our free events taking place during the festival here on the website.

Creative Talent Programme 2021-22 Applications are NOW OPEN!

Creative Youth are pleased to announce that applications for the 2021-22 Creative Talent Programme are now OPEN! 

We are searching for three new and exciting artists/companies to support and mentor. The Creative Talent Programme identifies young and emerging artists and companies who have the potential to become excellent creative practitioners and gives them the artistic, business and strategic support to become flourishing challenging, exciting organisations of the future.  

Details of how to apply and all eligibility criteria can be found HERE 


Creative Youth’s Creative Talent Programme 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.  

Opportunities to join Creative Youth

We’re excited to be expanding our team and are on the hunt for a new Projects Assistant via Government’s Kickstart scheme. You’ll providing administrative, logistical and general support to two major projects in the next 6 months, the International Youth Arts Festival 2021 and the Undercroft Community Engagement and Pilot Programme.  

See the full job pack and how to apply here

The Kickstart scheme is designed for those between 16-24 who are currently claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of unemployment. To be eligible your local job centre must refer you to us.

Applications close on Sunday 23 May 2021

Creative Youth to receive funding from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • Creative Youth is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will enable the charity to continue supporting young people in the arts and will support the delivery of 13th International Youth Arts Festival, which will return from 2 – 11 July 2021

  A smiling dancer in a red top reaches towards the camera

Creative Youth has received a grant from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.  

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Creative Youth in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today. 

Creative Youth is a charity that focuses on widening access to the arts to ensure all young people are given the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence through participation in creative and cultural activities and events. 2020 has demonstrated how vital the arts are to everyone and how important it is for platforms to exist for young people to share their thoughts and be involved in high-quality creative programmes. 

Through webinars that Creative Youth has been running for the past 9 months, part of a programme called So You Wanna Work in the Arts, the charity has invited young people from around the world to explore a range of topics affecting them, from mental health to the lack of representation of Black British History in schools.   

These conversations have drawn attention to some of the concerns facing international communities and young people across the UK as they struggle with the pressures of Covid-19 and the additional implications of Brexit. The challenges faced will continue to exist for so many, for many months to come and this funding ensures the charity can continue to be there for young people to engage in creative opportunities and can develop their skills.  

Creative Youth works with many creative freelancers to deliver their programmes and this workforce is at the forefront of the organisation. The funding will ensure that International Youth Arts Festival 2021 can be delivered in Kingston this July and will provide employment for several creative freelancers in this time of uncertainty.   

Creative Youth is delighted to have the opportunity to bring a physical festival of creativity and culture to Kingston, alongside an international ‘Digifest’, from 2 – 11 July 2021. 

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.  

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. 

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.” 

CEO, Louise Coles, said:
The Culture Recovery Fund will allow Creative Youth to continue our work with young people aged 5-26 to ensure they receive the necessary support to develop their confidence, skills and employment in one of the most challenging environments we have seen in many years. A strong focus of what we do is to create opportunities for young people who are often from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds to be able to access the arts and culture and, after a year of online activity, we look forward to returning to our public event programmes including International Youth Arts Festival from 2-11 July. The young people we work with can once again share their stories in person and come together as a community.  

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.   

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.” 

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.