Have you ever taken a moment to think about the role the arts and creativity play in your life? Take a moment right now, and ask yourself, who designed the clothes you’re wearing? Who drew the plans for the building you may be sitting in? How does music make you feel? Do you escape into your favourite book, podcast, television programme? How often do you watch films? And, what are you reading this blog on?

The arts, creativity, design and culture are everywhere, not just in galleries and museums, or performed on stages. They have been around since humans first drew on cave walls, yet still we under value and down-play their importance in our society and lives.

Creativity has sustained us during lockdown

From painted rainbows on windows to streamed comedy, film, theatre and cabaret in our living rooms, and dance in kitchens, creativity has sustained us during lockdown.

The arts have helped us stay connected, made us resilient and supported our mental health, yet we read news reports that schools are being encouraged to drop creative subjects from the curriculum in September to focus on STEM subjects.

This follows years of arts subjects being squeezed out of the curriculum, and the lowest number of young people ever progressing onto FE or HE to study the arts and design (at the same time seeing levels of isolation and mental health issues spike – go figure).

Why do we continue to fail to see the importance the arts play in our lives?

Whether we make and create or watch and listen, the arts help us understand the world around us, inform us and communicate to us. They teach and enthuse as. Above all they bring us joy, help us form connections, provide us with a sense of community and solace, and sometimes a much needed opportunity to escape.

Here at Creative Youth Network we believe that every single young person, regardless of who they are, where they live or their background, deserve the right to have access to the arts as makers and as audience members. The arts are for everyone, yet access in childhood is increasingly the preserve of the privileged, and entry points to the sector remain narrow, often relying on who you know and whether you can afford opportunities like internships or work experience.  No wonder lack of diversity is ongoing.

Ask yourself, what would your life look like without access to the arts and creativity? No technology, no music, no fashion, no films, no theatre, no dancing or singing. It’s pretty bleak isn’t it? But this is the reality of younger generations.

So, why don’t you join our campaign?

Creative YOU will shout from the rooftops how important the arts and creativity is to everyone, especially young people facing barriers and challenges, exploring who they are and who they want to be.

Let’s make sure the arts and creativity are valued and accessible to all young people. Let’s make sure  that the arts are as important to our education as STEM subjects. Please join us by pledging to support all young people having the right to access the arts, and the right to progress their talents.

Find out more about Creative YOU