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Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 launch at National Gallery of Ireland


New Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 launched for children and young people

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New Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 launched for children and young people

min read


New Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 launched for children and young people

A new Creative Youth Plan for the period 2023-2027 was approved and launched by Government today to further embed creativity into the centre of the lives of Ireland’s young people.

Building on the success of the first Creative Youth Plan 2017-2022, this new plan aims to provide everyone from birth to 24 years with more opportunities for creative engagement in every aspect of their lives. Across seven strategic objectives, the Creative Youth Plan will ensure children and young people retain a key voice in decision-making on its implementation and will prioritise those that are seldom heard and most at risk of disadvantage. Parents and caregivers, educators, artists, and creative practitioners will be supported to recognise the centrality and value of creativity to their lives.

  • The Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 aims to enable the creative potential of children and young people, from birth to 24 years, prioritising those seldom heard and at risk of disadvantage.
  • Under the new Creative Youth Plan, opportunities for creative engagement will reach tens of thousands of children and young people.
  • Children and young people to retain a key voice in decision-making on its implementation.
  • Impactful programmes such as the Local Creative Youth Partnerships, Cruinniú na nÓg, Creative Schools, Creative Clusters and BLAST to continue.
  • New €500,000 Creative Youth Nurture Fund to support pilot youth-led projects that prioritise seldom heard children and young people.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman TD announced the launch of the new Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 at a youth-led event that took place in the National Gallery of Ireland on 28th March 2023.

The launch was supported by a panel discussion between the Ministers and four young creatives with a music performance from Music Generation and a spoken word performance organised through Creative Schools.



Hub na nÓg Creative Youth

Open Video

Since 2017, Creative Youth has had a significant impact nationally which has included:

  • Support for over 2,000 schools and Youthreach centres to enrich their students’ experience through a range of creative programmes such as Creative Schools, BLAST (Bringing Live Arts to Schools and Teachers) and Creative Clusters.
  • Access to programmes such as: creative writing; youth drama; music; and creative technology including animation and podcasting expanding in communities, and the establishment of six Local Creative Youth Partnerships in six Education and Training Boards.
  • Support to educators to embed creativity into their professional teaching practice through continuous professional development.
  • Cruinniú na nÓg, the flagship national day of free creativity for children and young people, delivering over 2,800 events in partnership with all 31 local authorities since 2018.
  • The expansion of Music Generation’s Local Music Education Partnerships.

Under the new Creative Youth Plan, these programmes will further develop, alongside new opportunities reaching tens of thousands of children and young people.

"The plan will ensure children and young people retain a key voice in decision-making and will prioritise those that are seldom heard and most at risk of disadvantage"

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Catherine Martin said:

“Children and young people have an innate creativity, and flourish through creative activities and discovery. Much of that is evident here today. We know there is endless potential in our youth and the Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027 seeks to unlock and nurture this potential, particularly in ways that prioritise those that may seldom experience creative engagement. Under this next phase of Creative Youth, I am excited to announce plans for a new pilot Creative Youth Nurture Fund due to be launched shortly. Through partnerships that can reach specific seldom heard children and young people, €500,000 will be allocated over two years to support youth designed projects and evaluate potential barriers to creative engagement. I also look forward to further cross-government collaborations in areas such as Early Learning and Care and Local Creative Youth Partnerships.

The Creative Youth Nurture Fund, supported by the Creative Ireland Programme in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will pilot cultural, artistic and creative engagement for young people. With €500,000 available over two years, it is looking to support individuals and organisations that can reach specific cohorts of young people that are too often seldom heard, and empower them to develop innovative creative initiatives.

Attending today’s launch, Minister Norma Foley said:

“On my many school visits as Minister for Education, I continue to be in awe at the positive and indeed powerful impact the arts and creativity have on our school communities. I strongly believe that continued access to a vibrant arts environment helps our students develop creative and critical thinking skills. With access to the arts, we also see an increase in personal growth, empathy and a capacity for collaboration in our children and young people. In short it encourages an education space outside of the traditional curriculum where dreams become reality and limitless ambition is encouraged. I am committed to helping ensure access to arts in education, as it is hugely rewarding for teachers, artists and our school communities, as well as the notable value it adds to our students’ lives.

With this plan, Creative Youth 2023-2027, we will continue our efforts to put arts and creativity at the heart of education in Ireland. This will include programmes led by the Department of Education, such as BLAST, Creative Clusters and Local Creative Youth.

Last week, we launched the application process for the BLAST and Creative Clusters programmes for the coming school year. These are open to all schools nationally. In addition, we will further expand Local Creative Youth Partnerships this year, working collaboratively across Government.

At the launch today, Minister Roderic O’Gorman said:

“The new Creative Youth Plan keeps the voices of babies, children and young people at the heart of planning and delivery of each creative initiative. While developing their creativity through a variety of interesting and innovative programmes, it also empowers them to have their say when programmes are being designed and evaluated. I am particularly delighted that my department will provide funding for another Local Creative Youth Partnership, maximising the potential of all children and young people to experience a creative programme and participate in decisions about how, where and what is delivered to them. I am also glad to say a consultation on the recently published Draft Principles for Engaging with the Arts in Early Learning and Childcare is underway and we have partnered with The Arts Council to pilot an Arts in Early learning and Care and School Age Childcare scheme, which is underpinned by the National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making.”

Following approval of the new Plan at Cabinet today, Minister Simon Harris, said:

“Creative skills are so important for young people, particularly for those who have an interest in pursuing a career in the creative industries. Transversal skills associated with creativity, such as critical thinking, creative writing, design thinking, curiosity, persistence, resilience, imagination, agency, and collaboration are essential for living in tomorrow’s world. My Department ensures that creative skills are an integral part of further and higher education programmes, including apprenticeships. And through the Creative Youth Plan 2023-2027, I commit to further nurturing of these skills. I am delighted to say that one of my key priorities for the initial implementation stage of this new plan, is to look at what a creative campus should look like in further and higher education.”

Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly said:

“The Arts Council is delighted to partner with our colleagues across Government in the delivery of an ambitious Creative Youth plan for 2023-27. The Arts Council has significantly increased its investment in children and young people’s arts as part of our ten-year strategy.

We are delighted to continue to lead out on Creative Schools. Since its inception in 2018 Creative Schools has enabled children and young people to be creative, to be listened to, to be taken seriously and to have their ideas acted upon in their schools. We will build on the recent expansion of the programme into schools in alternative settings such as Oberstown detention campus which allows us to continue our vital work to diversify the arts in Ireland. We are also piloting a new partnership to support and promote the arts in early learning and care and school-age childcare with our colleagues across the relevant Departments. By working together, we can deliver the greatest impact for children and young people, ensuring the arts and creativity are at the heart of children’s lives.

Find out more about the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan here.

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