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What Creative provision do young people want ?

Our latest research project Point highlights improvement needed in the youth creative Sector and provides fantastic opportunities for organisations to revolutionise youth creativity. 

If you, or anyone you know, is: under the age of 24, lives in Taunton and uses social media, you’ve probably encountered our latest creative research project; Point. Our dynamic project has illuminated and explored the dark and uncharted world of our town’s youth creativity by engaging over 700 young people. This contemporary approach to youth research marks another advancement in our aspiration to revolutionise youth creativity. 

Before embarking on the project, We decided that there were three key things we needed to know to make a difference: 

1. What do young people think about Taunton’s creative scene? 

2. How can we improve creative opportunities? 

How do young people feel about working in the creative sector? 

Alongside these outcomes, we had to consider the changing face of youth creativity. With the advent of new and accessible technology, creative activities are more diverse than ever before.

We wanted to ensure that divergent forms of creativity like freestyle rap and studio fx make-up got a chance to have an equal say. It was from this perspective that we put together a questionnaire designed to assist young people in formulating their own attitudes towards their creative endeavours. 

We recognised that if we wanted authentic and meaningful responses, we needed to communicate in a genuine and original way. Typically at this point youth researchers would round up hordes of young people, funnel them into a classroom and tell young people that aren’t leaving until they have ‘had their say’. This was a bit too draconian for us, after all, creativity is about thinking outside the box, not enforcing its boundaries. We decided to create a platform for young people to make their point and distribute the survey via a social media campaign. 

We worked with local young people to create photo and video content, showcasing their incredible creative talents. These videos inspired and encouraged young people to complete the survey and make their point. There were 3 key findings: 

Young People want more Creativity

We asked young people to rate creative provision in Taunton out of 10. The mean response was 3.6. We found two main reasons for this. Firstly, there was a lack of appropriate creative activity. Secondly, young people felt a lack of confidence. In identifying these factors, we quickly began to understand how to militate against them. 

Young People Want to Engage New Types of Creative Activity 

99% of respondents indicated a desire to attend a creative event and many provided examples of creative activity they would like to participate that isn’t currently offered. These findings constitute exciting opportunities for organisations across the Somerset area. 

Youth People Want Creative Jobs but Don’t Know How to Get Them 

98% of Respondents expressed an interest in a creative career, but when asked how confident they would be in getting a creative job out of ten, the mean response was 4.3 out of 10. These findings present huge opportunities for mentoring programmes to really connect with passionate young people. 

So the verdict is in. Youth creative provision needs some work and young people want to be involved in that process. We are going to make the study public in the near future, so you can see the details for yourself. 

This general tone of the report reinforces what a lot of us in the creative sector already know. As a community and a society, we need to do more. Amongst the issues raised, there was a lot of good and we now have a baseline to create a roadmap for improvement. We are already working on solutions for the issues raised by young people throughout the project, but we are going to need your support. We’ll let you know as our plan develops. 

If when reading this piece you’ve felt the desire to help creative young people, you can. Whether it’s a kind word, a social media share or giving up some of your time to lead a workshop, there are many ways you can be a positive influence. Remember you can always contact CICCIC to get involved.

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