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.  

PLEDGE 

 

2. Sign up

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

sign up 

 

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

 

Want to understand more about the significance of Pride month and how you can get involved? Read our blog below written by freelancer, Esmee Turlej, who works with Creative Youth Network on our social media and digital content.

The Importance of Safe Spaces

Pride month is a time to hone in and focus on how we can further support our LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual +) community members. At this time, it is important to remember the current and past years of struggle the LGBTQIA+ community faces in the world, as well as celebrate the legal accomplishments and recognition that LGBTQIA+ people and allies have fought for years to receive.

At Creative Youth Network, we work with young people to understand their needs and provide services shaped by them. For LGBTQ+ young people who may wish to meet others, discuss issues important to them or who may be experiencing discrimination, we have activities and safe spaces that are free of judgement to help promote self-confidence, acceptance and expression.

Why June? A History of Pride 

Pride takes place in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising. 

In Greenwich Village, New York, 28th June 1969, the police showed up to a popular safe haven for LGBT youth members, The Stonewall Inn. Police began to arrest bar staff for selling alcohol without a licence and harassed and physically assaulted people. 

This was the third raid on Greenwich Village gay bars in a short period. Rather than scatter, the people protested against the discrimination they were experiencing by throwing coins and rubbish at the police. A riot began which lasted over 5 days. 

Since this initial uprising in New York, the rights and recognition of LGBTQIA+ members throughout the world has developed and changed drastically, with same-sex marriage now being legal in 37 countries (2024). However, this is roughly 20% of the world. 

We are lucky in Bristol to have such a diverse culture with plenty of spaces specifically to support LGBTQIA+ people. There are still many inequalities that people in the community face, including day-to-day bullying, lack of recognition and laws against self-expression. 

You can read some of the experiences - as well as the calls for change - shared by LGBTQ+ young people in the region at our We the 33 event.

"[LGBTQ] People who have mental health issues don’t seek help until it’s got really bad. I hadn’t been to school for a year. More staff, better training, better understanding – more adults that understand teenager’s struggles."  

Pride month can help focus people and communities on these discussions and support change to make this a safe home for everyone. 

READ MORE FROM OUR WE THE 33 EVENT

Proud to Be Sessions for LGBTQ+ Young People

Creative Youth Network offers Proud to Be sessions ‘where all are welcome, and each voice is heard’  for people ages 11-19.

Here you can find a supportive community of other young people who are LGBTQ+, questioning, or allies. It's more than just a club. It is a safe place where anybody can be themselves free of judgement and feel equal in a place of acceptance and understanding.

We run two Proud to Be sessions:

Where? The Station, Central Bristol

When? Every other Monday at 4.30-6.15pm from 17th June 2024

Where? Hanham Youth Centre, BS15 3EJ

When? The third Friday of every month, 4.15PM - 5.15PM

Bristol Pride - Youth Parade 

This year's Bristol Pride event is on Saturday the 13th of July. Here, there will be a youth space for people aged 13-25 to relax, make crafts and meet each other. Find out more information here.

Our Hanham Proud To Be leader Laura, will be taking their Creative Youth Network group to Diversity Trust's Youth Pride on July 6th. This event is for people aged 11-19.

If you'd like to meet Laura there, please contact them directly.

[email protected],uk

07435 551 406

Young LGBTQIA+ Artist spotlight 

Creative Youth Network supports and works with artists who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Last year, Creative Youth Network commissioned Trans/Form, “An all-trans and non-binary performance troupe merging drag, theatre and performance art”  created and performed by House of Boussé in 2023.

Roux, the dad of House of Boussé, a non-binary trans masc person who curated and performed in TransForm, has continued to workwith Creative Youth Network as a voice actor for The Courts - Bristol’s newest creative enterprise hub. Roux is the voice of Henry, and shares the real-life story of a trans man who was trialled and sentenced at the Magistrates Courts in Bristol. 

Since performing at The Station, TRANS/FORM has a further show this year from the 3rd July in Strange Brew, sharing tales of trans and non-binary people whose voices are often lost in the margins of our society. Find out more here

Queer Voices from The Courts!

"Hi! I'm Joseph and I'm the Front of House Assistant at The Courts, the friendly face who'll help you utilise the building to support you to your fullest potential.

"Outside of The Courts, I wear many hats! I am a theatre director who thrives under multidisciplinary collaboration, a cabaret show producer with the drag collective House of Zodiac, and a voice actor for The Attic Monologues. It is important to me to represent a diverse range of creative pursuits outside of work, as I am fuelled by a variety of interests.

"Queer spaces are important as it is crucial for LGBTQIA+ people to have places where they can come together as a community. Having building that allow and uplift LGBTQIA+ people is fundamental to acceptance and growth, there are so many spaces that are exclusionary to our community.

"I'm so excited to have The Courts as a space for young people to access creative careers, and to help incredible events happen here.

"If you are a young person and you want to run your own event, please get in touch at:

[email protected]

or pop in for a chat! We are open Monday - Friday 9am-5pm.

I would really love to hear your ideas!"

"My name is Jesse, and I'm the venue Co-ordinator at The Courts. I oversee the day-to-day activities and hires at The Courts, as well as acting as a first liaison point for any organisations using our tenanted spaces.

"Besides my role at CYN, I'm a musician, specifically a woodwind doubler- I play sax, flute and clarinet in a number of projects, the main one being a member of Dutty Moonshine Big Band. I've played in a range of ensembles, from orchestras, to function bands, to swing groups, as well as having done a couple of contracts in the show band for a P&O Cruise ship and two stints with a touring Danish circus.

"Queer spaces act as a second home to many people- it's a place to feel at ease with who you are, to exist without judgement or prejudice, surrounded by other people who understand and empathise with your perspective. Many queer spaces also help provide opportunities for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community to create and develop their art, whatever form that might look like, and provide a platform for it to be celebrated.

"I'm looking forward to moving our prospective tenants into our office spaces in The Courts. As a new space, we really have the capacity to mould how The Courts is used in relation to the expectation of the young people who would benefit from such a space- so I'm excited to get the building buzzing with even more activity and to get to know the young people we'll be supporting in their creative careers."

We hope this blog has been informative and inspiring as to why Pride month is important and why it is essential to give LGBTQIA+ members a platform and a safe place to share their experiences.  Please let us know what you think in the comments below and share any information you think is helpful on how to be a good ally all year round! 

Read our other blog posts on LGBTQIA+ voices via Creative Youth Network:

https://www.creativeyouthnetwork.org.uk/Blog/youth-voice-its-non-negotiable-young-people-demand-better-lgbtq-education-and-support-services

https://www.creativeyouthnetwork.org.uk/Blog/lgbtq-youth-workers

    

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