Creative YOU

Creativity is everywhere. Opportunity is not.     

We are part of the solution. The secret is in our name. Every year Creative Youth Network gives thousands of young people a taste and thirst for the arts and culture and the joy, life-skills and opportunity they bring.   

But we want more.   

Creative YOU is our campaign showcasing how we, you and the engaged, emerging and amazing young creatives we support, come together. 

We want to reveal how, together, we are ambition, quality, cultural democracy and social mobility in action. 

Every young person deserves the right to access creativity and development opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

It all starts with education.

If all young people have access to creative subjects in school, then talented young people from all backgrounds can pursue their passion, develop crucial skills needed in so many industries and improve their wellbeing.

1. Pledge

Add your name and join the many people passionate about bringing creativity back into our schools.   

With all the pledges we’ll be reaching out to headteachers in Bristol and the South West. We hope this will encourage local academies to give more space to creativity in their curriculum.  

Bristol, being the creative city we know and love, can pave the way for other regions to do the same, showcasing the true value of creativity.  



2. Sign up

Join us by signing up to our newsletter where we share best practice of how to support young people. 

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3. Find out more

Join us by reading and sharing our CreativeYOU report which shows how our work brings opportunities for creative expression and enables young people to explore their talent, regardless of background or circumstance.  

Download our Creative YOU report


Dear Grayson Perry,

I came to your exhibition tour, with yourself, on Tuesday the 26th September and you probably don’t know who I am. That was actually the second time seeing this exhibition.

I first saw your latest exhibition at the Serpentine in London sometime over summer on a day trip with my dad. Honestly, the aim of the trip was to see Hokusai at the Great British Museum as we had bought pre-paid tickets, but as yours was free we popped along to have a look. I don’t know much about art but I definitely found your pieces visually pleasing and I could tell they had meaning behind them but I wasn’t quite sure of exactly what they were trying to portray, but I didn't care because they looked good and, as I got the experience for free, I felt as though I was in positive net ‘cultural capital’.

When I saw you at the Arnolfini, with a guided tour by yourself, I was drawn in by your brief explanations of each piece. This left me with some food for thought and questions. This was quite a different experience.

It was very clever of you to bring the bull and the bear into your piece about masculinity in the city. I really respect your reference to economics especially John Maynard Keynes's Animal Spirits. I am studying economics at A-level and it is a little bit soul destroying in that some parts really are all about money and profit, however Keynes says that ultimately the decisions we make are down to our spontaneous optimism and not just a mathematical equation to maximise utility.

The idea of Animal Spirits brings a human element into the mechanical nature of the banking system and the finance industry. I find it hard to get my head round especially as those ‘humans’, due to the pursuit of their personal interest, collectively caused the financial crisis which affected all people and not just them? Anyway it reminded me that decisions are generally made by humans and humans, by nature, can change and evolve. In a roundabout kind of way it gave me a tiny bit of hope that things could change in the future, so thank you.

I really liked your matching pair Brexit pots too. When I first came to see your exhibition, I did not realise that one was made for remainers and one for brexiteers. However in the tour you explained how they each reflect snippets of identity from the opposing sides of the Brexit debate. You also said that they both look fairly similar overall and share a lot of identity without focusing on the detail. I wondered if this was you artists impression and interpretation of the issue or if this is actually the case. It got me thinking of myself, and the side I stood for, and my negativity towards the those that voted the other side. I like that you highlighted that we all share so much identity aside from this one issue, and that regardless of whether we voted Brexit or not that does not define who we are. I think in debates we sometimes have to be reminded that we are challenging the opinion of the other side, and not their whole being and identity. Likewise when someone in the other side challenges us, we should not take it to heart and believe we are invalid, but remember that only one opinion you stand for has been challenged and not your whole self.

It was awesome to see you in the flesh during the tour of your exhibition. You have charisma, you are eloquent and you have great public speaking skills. I found it a bit strange because you are quite famous now. In my opinion, one of the reasons for this is how your work speaks to a lot of people in a deep kind of way. Yet when I saw you talking about it at the Arnolfini I felt as though this was not reflected in the way you spoke to us. You were distant and untouchable, despite physically only being a foot or so in front of me. As though you were inside a glass bubble. I have to admit this left me feeling slightly bitter about the genuine nature of your work.

However in reflection, I realise now that art is a means of communication. And that you take people’s messages and experience and they get transformed, by you, into a piece of art. That piece then speaks for itself and is not necessarily intended to go alongside an experience of you explaining what it is meant to portray. The art communicates for itself.

Anyway I love your work, and I love your process of how you explore topical issues such as masculinity and Brexit. Thank you for coming to Bristol.

Yours sincerely,


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