Research Project

Background to the research, its aim and objectives

NYCI’s Youth Arts Programme is strategic partnership of The National Youth Council of Ireland, The Arts Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The programme’s vision is an Ireland where all young people can take part in excellent youth arts practice which is life-enhancing. Its mission is dedicated to the development and advancement of youth arts which supports young people living in Ireland to realise their potential through participation in high quality youth-centred arts practice within youth work organisations and the non-formal education sector.

The programme recently conducted a strategic review and informed by this, developed a strategic plan for the period 2018-2022 and an assessment of training and development needs in youth arts provision in non-formal education. In the course of wide consultation as part of the strategic review and training needs assessment, the need to embed youth arts provision at policy level in organisations and services, create sustainable provision and support and profile excellent practice emerged as priority considerations.

The research questions

To support the development of a clear picture of youth arts provision nationally, The National Youth Arts Programme has commissioned UCC to address the following research questions:

1.

What is the nature and scope of youth arts provision throughout the country? 

2.

What type of artforms are most prevalent in the provision of youth arts in Ireland? 

3.

Where are the gaps in provision currently? 

4.

What is the demographic profile of the young people accessing youth arts services? 

5.

What challenges, if any, do youth arts practitioners currently encounter in their work with young people? 

6.

How can these challenges be addressed in public policy? 

What does the research involve?

The first element of the research is the production of a geographic mapping of youth arts activities which will feature graphic, video, and audio representations of youth arts activities across the country.

The second element of the research is to create a demographic profile of young people accessing youth arts services. To this end, the researchers are collecting key information including age of participants; gender of participants; location of service (county/city/town/area); and frequency of young people’s participation.

The third element of the research involves in-depth interviews with youth workers, youth service providers, and youth arts practitioners and other key stakeholders about their experiences in the field. 

The fourth element of the research is a comprehensive review of literature and policy relevant to the provision of opportunities to young people to participate in youth arts activities in youth work settings.  

The aim of the research

The aim of this research is to generate evidence on the scope of youth arts provision in youth work settings across Ireland. We are aware that there is great richness and diversity in current high quality youth-centred arts practice, but we need to document this in a more systematic way. 

This research will inform the NYCI’s Youth Arts Programme, which is a strategic partnership between The National Youth Council of Ireland, The Arts Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

It will enable the NYCI to better advocate for young people to access youth arts activities in youth work and the non-formal education sector.

It will provide an evidence base to help the NYCI plan and prioritise by identifying gaps in provision, barriers and enablers and numbers/a profile of young people who participate in the arts.

Therefore, this is an opportunity for you to contribute to policy-making with a view to embedding youth arts provision at policy level in organisations and services and to creating sustainable provision and support to youth services. 

Furthermore, this is an opportunity to showcase your innovative youth arts practice. The map that is being constructed through this exercise is designed to profile excellent youth arts projects in a dynamic way that evidences the joy of taking part in youth arts activity and the impact of participation in youth arts on young people’s development and experiences.

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