We are delighted to announce five artists who have been awarded the Youth Arts Residencies Small Grants, managed by North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) in partnership with Independent Arts Projects (IAP). The selected artists have each been awarded a grant of £5,000 to design and deliver their own youth arts projects in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh.  

Artists will be supported through mentoring, advice and training, and will have access to a regular peer forum, giving selected artists the opportunity to try out an idea as part of new or longer-term research and development.  

The programme will ensure accessible creative opportunities continue to exist, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, for children and young people living in Muirhouse. In addition, it aims to empower freelance artists, and strengthen and broaden NEA and IAPs longer-term connections with these practitioners. 

The programme is funded by Creative Scotland through the Youth Arts Fund Small Grants Scheme. 

Hannah Ayre
Craftivism: Young People, Art and Activism in Muirhouse

Hannah Ayre is a participatory artist, based in Scotland, with over 20 years’ experience of working with young people. Much of Hannah’s work has involved text and words as a way for people to express themselves.

As part of the Youth Arts Residencies at North Edinburgh Arts, Hannah will be exploring Craftivism – the gentle art of activism through the medium of craft.  Working with a group of young people (ages 16 – 25), we will make individual and collaborative, text-based work, to be displayed for members of the public to find, or to send to a person in a position of power. Through making, participants will slow down, explore ideas together and think about what is important to them. Text incorporated into their artwork might be inspiring, encouraging, empowering, or angry (though we’ll try to avoid the sweary!). The project will give participants the opportunity to express themselves, both face to face with peers, and anonymously to members of their wider community through the display of their work out and about around the local area.

Adie Baako
West African Dance & Music for ages 9 – 14

Photograph by marc marnie

Since moving from Ghana to Scotland in May 2015, Adie Baako has worked extensively with children, young people and adults with additional support needs, BAME and other communities. With a lived understanding, he utilises the transformative power of the arts to create fun dance programmes that energise and build self-esteem with social connection.

By nature, and design, Adie’s sessions engage people of all ages and abilities through storytelling and movement. Through a programme of West African Dance & Music (held in or outdoors at NEA, aimed at children and young people ages 9 -14) participants will be encouraged to explore movement and storytelling, using dance and music as a creative path that will ultimately promote equality, diversity and inclusion alongside improving physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. This project allows the children and young people taking part and the delivering artists to feel included, valued, important and ultimately re-connected within their community and have fun together after long periods of lockdown and social isolation during the pandemic.

Rosie Priest
Young People’s Map Making project

Rosie Priest is an Edinburgh-based artist who has focused on socially engaged practices for almost ten years. Rosie is currently a PhD researcher exploring the ways in which contemporary collaborative art practices can impact young, marginalised people.  

This project will support young people (ages 12 – 18) to connect with one another in their community, to celebrate Muirhouse and its surrounding areas, to explore new perspectives and unearth hidden spaces potentially unknown by adults. The project will ask young people to share their favourite spaces and places in Muirhouse and to create a map of the area. It will ask young people what these spaces mean to them, how they think other young people and children could enjoy them and what makes those spaces special. 

Through a programme of summer workshops, young people will have the opportunity to learn new creative skills such as printmaking from nature, photography, illustration, creative writing in response to nature and how to create their own zines, which will be shared with the wider community at the end of the summer.

Murray Renton
Trash to Treasure

Murray Renton is an arts practitioner with experience working with diverse groups of people in creative settings, including children, young people and young adults with learning difficulties.

As part of the Youth Arts Residencies, Trash to Treasure aims to bring together local young people to work together on a fun project centred around using recycled objects and materials, to encourage creative thinking and learning and inspire the young people taking part to reimagine and reuse objects in their day to day lives.

The project will begin with a litter pick and scavenger hunt, exploring the local area to find materials that would otherwise go to landfill or pollute the environment. The group will learn about waste and potential uses for objects and materials found. Participants will go on to use found and recycled materials throughout the sessions to make air-powered, kinetic sculptures (such as kites and windmills), Craft creation making vehicles or carts for a ‘drag race/parade’, colourful textiles making collage flags and learning about further creative skills. Throughout the project, participants will be encouraged to discuss and document their experience through audio and video recording, photography and writing, which will be shared with friends, family and the local community.

Kate Temple
PLANTS & PLACE: A plant, ink and dye club for girls & young women 

Kate Temple is a visual artist, performance maker and educator based in Scotland. As part of the Youth Arts Residencies, Kate will be leading a creative project with girls and young women about their connection to plants and place. 

What grows in my neighbourhood? What can I find in my local area? What can I make with what I have and what I find?  

This project will give girls and young women (ages 8-24) an opportunity to discover and connect to the local environment and each other in new and meaningful ways, whilst exploring their creativity. Through supportive sessions, participants will get the chance to forage and collect plants and other materials for ink, dyes and drawing tools. During the sessions group members will learn about eco dyeing for textiles, drawing, painting and printing with homemade inks, as well as trying out some plant-based photography.

With thanks to all who applied and those on the panel who helped us assess our applications and select the five artists. We’re delighted to be involved in this brilliant project with North Edinburgh Arts.