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Youth Arts

Why Youth Arts

The performing and allied arts allow young people to develop not just artistically but also personally and socially. All of our unique programmes allow young people to both explore and develop a sense of who they are and give them the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential as artists and young people.

Our issue-based programmes also allow them to discuss and explore theirs views and beliefs in issues that affect their lives and the community in which they live. These programmes help give them a voice within their community and help them achieve their status and equal and active citizens.

Youth Arts Unit Aims

  • To provide opportunities for young people, primarily those from disadvantaged areas and/or excluded groups, to enhance their life skills and work towards the development of their full potential within the performing and allied arts.Youth Arts
  • To provide through training, opportunities for young people and those who work with them, to have fun and share their skills with others in their own and the wider community.
  • To develop ways of working with young people in which they, themselves are able to retain more control of the process and final product outcome.
  • To enable northern Irish youth to consider their religious, political or ethnic isolation through the use of issue- based theatre models of work. And provide them with a platform to express their views.
  • Provide young people from differing political or ethnic traditions with opportunities for training, making contact and working with other young people involved in arts programmes throughout the wider community.
  • To raise the profile of youth arts and youth culture within the Northern Ireland youth scene.
  • To actively encourage, through a range of arts projects, individuals and groups who have an interest in integrating arts activities into their youth group programme.  


Rainbow Factory, school of the performing arts (Belfast)

Specific Aims

  • To offer children and young people from throughout Northern Ireland, the unique opportunity to develop their creative and social skills through a community based part-time school of the performing artsThe Rainbow Factory
  • To provide a performing arts project which believes in the dignity of its members and whose staff work to create a caring and supportive learning environment
  • To offer high quality training in the performing arts to enthusiastic children and young people of all abilities and personal circumstances, while primarily targeting those who are disadvantaged.
  • To provide, through the activities of the project, opportunities for young people to develop an awareness of themselves and their traditions and to help them begin to understand, respect and accept cultural diversity.
  • To provide a programme of training opportunities which takes account of and builds upon, the interests and culture of the membership

The Arts Unit can justifiably claim to provide one of the most exciting, innovative and socially targeted, range of Youth Arts programmes available in Northern Ireland. All of which are underpinned by YouthAction Northern Ireland's youth work principles.


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