Nottingham’s own Youth Creative Awards is showcasing the local talent from around the city running for the 7th year in a row.

Anyone aged 13-24 can submit an entry to the awards and are judged in three different bands; 13–15 years old, 16–18 years old and 19–24 years old. Entries can be shown through live music or dance performances, either individually or in groups. Alternatively, they can be through creative writing, fashion and graphic design, photography and many more.

Each year there is an overarching theme with 2015’s awards being ‘Made In Nottingham’. This years theme is ‘Goals and Dreams’ where entries will revolve around this idea they can make for a range of exciting performances.

Tracy Meadows, Events Manager for the YCA said: “The awards are an opportunity to encourage young people in creative fields to express themselves and hopefully develop their skills long term and stay in Nottingham after education and build on the city’s ambition to be a creative hub in the UK.”

This year the awards are taking place at the Nottingham Playhouse on the 18th May
and will be judged by a range of panel members such as Nottingham City Council’s Principal Arts officer Sharon Scaniglia, sports photographer Laurence Griffiths and Ian Marshall of Nottingham Music Hub. With the help of these professionals and many more they make for a fair and well thought out judgement of the entries that they receive.

Overall there are ten overarching categories and three prizes in each of them so there’s one for every age group within it. Successors receive a £100 cash prize and a certificate for their work, and there will also be one overall winner of the Youth Creative Awards who gets chosen from the line-up of people to receive £150.

Other than cash prizes, there are lots of other opportunities that come from entering the awards. Tracy said: “Some of the winners have gone on to get jobs in their chosen creative field. Singers have gone on to have records in the charts, people have achieved their dreams and all we have done is give them a bit of a helping hand and guidance.”

It can often be very difficult to receive recognition from the creative industry with so many people competing to become known and to make a living doing what they love.
The awards strive to give opportunities in ways that would not usually be accesible.

“We knew the city had a wealth of young creative talent and wanted to give that an avenue to expand, it’s so important for young people to get involved otherwise the culture and the arts will die out and even though we are all caught up in a technological world we still need to be able to have the opportunity to express ourselves creatively.” said Tracy.

In the future, Tracy exclaims that she would like to see a growth in the creative network so support and funding can be offered to young people so that they can follow their dreams.

Heather McWilliams