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.   

How Local Theatres Can Help the Next Generation

Join our latest free webinar discussing key issues that affect the arts industry.

When: Monday 22 March, 7pm
Where: Live, on Zoom
Register here

With drama being cut at GCSE-level across the country and now BTEC Performing Arts at threat of being cut from colleges, the panel will explore how local/ regional theatres can help inspire the next generation of creatives, and ensure local communities can access the arts.

This webinar is part of a free monthly series by Creative Youth, called So You Wanna Work in the Arts, discussing key arts industry topics. The series is supported by Arts Council England.

Listen to the past webinars on our Anchor or Youtube pages. Find out more here.

Creative Youth Dancing Sunday

Join us on Sunday 28 February for an exciting afternoon of dancing (from home) and make a transformative difference for young & emerging artists.

The day consists of dance classes, dance-disco with exciting DJs. You’ll also get to meet our team, Creative Talent Programme artists and companies over zoom, in a relaxed and informal way! You’re welcome to join parts or all of the day.

All proceeds from this fundraising event will go towards supporting artists/companies on the Creative Talent Programme. We want to empower them to further their careers, in the form of direct-financial support, mentoring and professional development workshops.

Once you have bought a reward to join us, you’ll hear from our team before the event with joining instructions, we’re really looking forward to dancing with you!

Book your place



Collective Warm Up

Choose from three exciting dance classes, led by Jason Piper, Max Percy and one tailored for children under age of 11 led by Carly Allen from Vital Signz Dance.

About the sessions

Dance Swan Lake with Jason Piper

Jason Piper is a former Professional Dancer who played the lead Swan in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. He is now an Associate Professor and interim Head of School in the Kingston School of Art. 45 minutes with him and you’ll come away knowing a beautiful and exciting Swan-Lake routine. And no, no previous experience needed, just a willingness to throw yourselves in.

Wake up your Body! with Max Percy

A meditative and exploratory movement practice generated by your imagination. No routine will be taught, instead Max will guide through the session as you  explore the landscape of your body at your own pace. We will be waking up and nurturing the neglected and overworked corners of the body that harbour tension. This is a mixture of a Yoga and Somatic (sensory) dance practice.

In this session will learn how to get in touch with your internal self and cultivate coping skills to intervene when intense emotions, stressors, or trauma surface. Somatic Movement helps you creatively engage with emotional, physical and cognitive processes through dance and movement.

Children’s (Under 12) & Family Dance Class

Brought to you by the extra-ordinary teacher, choreographer and dancer from The Vital Signz Carly Allen, join us for an energetic and fun dance-class, children under 12 are particularly welcomed. Join as a family or you can sit back and let us dance with the kids for 45 minutes.

Book your place

Celebrating identity, heritage and the arts

Monday 22 February 2021, 19:00 GMT

Join Creative Youth in this free webinar celebrating identity, heritage and the arts. We’ll explore how the arts and heritage can go hand in hand, how we can explore our cultural identities and the benefits of integrating the two worlds. The panel will be highlighting some of their creative projects and other organisations which incorporate these themes in their work.

Featuring panelists: Vincente Canas, Graeme Baker, Robin Moran from Kingston Heritage Service, Ruth Odewale from our Young Creatives, Kathryn Woodvine from Kingston Council and Molly Freeman from Smoking Apples Theatre

Register for free


Vincente Canas
I am a new Heritage Apprentice with Kingston Heritage Service.  I am also part of Kingston Museum Young Person’s Collective, a group of young people in Kingston, who work together on different Heritage projects to do with Kingston.  My interests are History, Geography and Conservation.

Graeme Daniel Baker
Member of the Youth Board for Kingston Upon Thames Museum.
Graduate of University of Kent, with a Bachelor’s Degree in War Studies and a Masters in Modern History.
Have organized and participated in a number of volunteer heritage projects around Kingston, from Sounds of Kingston through the centuries, to walks around historic areas of Kingston.
Is also a public relations officer for several Living History Groups across the UK.


Robin Moran
I work for Kingston Heritage Service at Kingston Council as the Development and Promotions Officer for Kingston Museum and Kingston History Centre. My role is constantly evolving but includes responsibilities such as project management, events programming, partnership development, marketing, and income generation. I am an artist and creative freelancer alongside my regular position previously working with cultural arts charities such as the Southbank Centre and B-side as well as in a spectrum of industries such as travel, fashion, festivals and more.


Ruth Odewale 
Ruth Odewale is 16-year-old BFI alumni. Since the age of three, Ruth has been acting and dancing and even won the British Arts Awards for best acting duet. From the age of ten, Ruth had the privilege to work with performers such as Linda Gray, Verne Troyer, Matthew Kelly, Arlene Philips, Wayne Sleep, Jo Brand, Tim Vine and the dance group Flawless during four years of pantomime at The New Wimbledon Theatre. Which included; Aladdin (2014), Cinderella (2015), Peter Pan (2016) and Dick Whittington (2017).


Kathryn Woodvine
Kathryn has worked in a variety of creative environments in the design, communication and publishing industries and latterly as an arts commissioner within local government. She is committed to supporting the development of a thriving arts and culture sector working with individuals, communities, funders and policy makers to develop creative opportunities with meaningful outcomes for all ages and abilities.

Molly Freeman
 is one of the co-artistic directors of award-winning puppetry and visual theatre company, Smoking Apples. They create innovative shows about complex subject matter and their work often has a research or heritage element to it. Previous examples of this include The Death of King Cholera at Seething Wells in Surbiton and their new show, Kinder, which is about the Czech Kindertransport trains. Molly also has extensive experience as a creative producer/project manager and has worked with Creative Youth to create and deliver a number of heritage projects that bring art and heritage together. This includes Kingston RPM, a music heritage project.


Part of our free monthly programme, So You Wanna Work in the Arts, discussing key arts industry topics. Supported by Arts Council England.

A Post-Brexit Arts World

Monday 18 January 2021, 19:00 GMT

Join our free webinar next Monday 18 January to explore the impacts of Brexit on the arts, co-chaired by Robin Hutchinson & Brett Alderton.

Britain has now left the EU, resulting in a range of potential repercussions for the arts industry and its international network.

Creative Youth’s panel will explore what has changed for the arts, which sectors of the industry may be most affected by the changes and resulting uncertainty, and how we can overcome the challenges to create positive outcomes from Brexit.

Panellists include Creative Youth’s Young Creatives Willow Pitt and Andy Hudeková from Slovakia, along with one of our European partners Gabriela Dumitru, Artistic Director of Theatre Arts Group, Bucharest, Romania.

Part of our free monthly programme, So You Wanna Work in the Arts, discussing key arts industry topics. Supported by Arts Council England.