Help to find a perfect fit
A guide to help young people and their parents choose an after-school arts youth project that is right from them has just been published for the first time by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).
Questions to Ask about Joining a Youth Arts Project: Helping You Find the Perfect Fit! is the work of the council’s senior project officer in youth arts, Anne O’ G or man. Voluntary participation in non-formal activities after school is such a valuable counter-point to formal education and so significant in terms of leisure time and creating friendships, that “making the right choices is important”, she says.
Even if a young person decides to join a music project, one music project isn’t the same as another, she points out. One may be very focused on competitions and another may just want young people to make friends, using singing as a way to connect them .“Both of those are valid but you will be much happier if you are in the right one.”
Asked if these low-costoptions are inclined to be overlooked, O’Gorman agrees that there can be a presumption that something costing a lot of money is better quality. But the professional is at ion of youth work has transformed it from the more haphazard gatherings parents might have experienced in their teenage years.
“There are so many guidelines and regulations around non-profit youth projects and they are so well organised and put together with such care and consideration, it is worth people asking those questions and finding this out,” she says.
The NYCI is also committed to trying to level disparity in access to the arts. “It should not be the case,” O’Gorman adds, “that if your parents can afford to pay for them, you will have drama and art and music in your life and if your parents don’t, you won’t.”