Progression, participation & provision - key components defining Time to Shine, Scotland's first Youth Arts Strategy. Arts, performance and digital, all created and led by young people from Scotland. On Thursday, I attended Time to Shine Unconvenetion, an event showcasing some of the most fascinating work funded by the Creative Scotland. The event was very unique and I felt super privileged to be a part of it.
Time to Shine has been around since 2015. The aim of the fund is to develop the first Youth Arts Strategy for youth arts in Scotland. As a result of the funding, numerous artistic hubs were set up around the country. In 2016, TTS.Digital invested more money into digital youth projects. The digital projects, provided Scottish youth with some unique opportunities to experiment with digital media and co-create technologies.
My PhD is all about digital co-creation among young people. Since I had some professional experience of working with TTS., I decided to use these digital youth projects as key participants in my study. In fact, I have already had a meeting with Allan Berry from TTS.Digital, who agreed to introduce me to practitioners around the country. This is very exciting, as my study will somehow contribute towards development of Youth Arts Strategy in Scotland.
TTS.Uncovenetion was perfect opportunity to meet some of the partners and youth workers involved in this national initiative.
The event took place in Glasgow at SWG3. As soon as I arrived, the venue was packed and full of exciting vibes. I was also fascinated with the innovative displays and original performances during the event. Additionally, the amount of familiar and friendly faces was overwhelming - in a positive way. It felt like most of the youth practitioners whom I worked with in the past, were present at the event. I had an opportunity to met some of my students from past media projects, who are now in charge of managing a media teams (!). Overall, it was super emotional and inspiring.
Allan Berry from Creative Scotland introduced me to some of digital partners, which allowed me to have quick chat about their work and to introduce myself as a researchers.
Having worked as a Digital Youth Hub Co-ordinator with Fife Youth Arts in 2014-2015, gave me some flavour of the fascinating youth work happening around the country. It was also at that time, that I learned most of my expertise in terms of managing youth initiatives. These years were crucial in identifying my research gap, I remember saying to my work colleagues 'I would love to be able to have more time to reflect on my digital youth engagement in more depth'.
Well, here I am in 2016, visiting Time to Shine as a researcher.
Meeting so many fantastic people passionate about youth participation at the Uncovention, made me realise (once again) that I'm in the right place at the right time. The first stage of TTS.Funding has just came to an end and the evaluation process is taking place just now. I was informed by Allan, that he will provide me with some insights and training in the evaluation tools used by Creative Scotland at present.
Also, one of the key findings from Time to Shine is that more work needs to be done to understand the holistic impact of youth participatory initiatives. This is indeed the key aspect of my research - improving the perception and methods of social impact evaluation among youth workers.