Nurturing future talent

The National Youth Arts Trust was established in 2013 in response to the growing crisis in funding for performing arts education in the UK. The economic climate meant it had become increasingly difficult, and often impossible, for children and young people from non-privileged backgrounds to find expression, a voice and in many cases a career in the performing arts. NYAT’s aim is to provide these young people, aged between 12 and 25, with opportunities in dance, music and drama. 

We believe that Art and Culture have the potential to build bridges, strengthen communities and help us aspire to a fairer, more inclusive and more progressive society. Now, more than ever, we need to invest in its future.

But to do this effectively, the Arts must be accessible to all – regardless of a family’s income, circumstances or location.

Shockingly, just one third of UK primary school pupils currently take part in any form of drama, music or dance and only 16% of actors are from a working-class background. Cultural education has been shifted to the margins and those from the poorest economic backgrounds are missing out.

Lack of diversity in the arts is an acknowledged and longstanding problem. But when engagement and training are largely restricted to those from better-off families and backgrounds, only a narrow set of voices are being heard.

Our vision is an inclusive performing arts sector that nurtures talent from any background, where no talented young performer is prevented from reaching their potential because of economic disadvantage or a lack of opportunity in their area. 

With your backing, the NYAT is working hard to broaden the horizons of talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by helping them access opportunities, training and financial support.

“The arts should be accessible for everyone and nobody should be barred because of their background. I love that NYAT and everyone behind it is striving to create an equal playing field.”

NYAT youth theatre member