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In 2017, Turner Prize winning artist and NYAT patron, Grayson Perry, was joined by a host of international artists at an art auction in London to raise vital funds for the work of the National Youth Arts Trust.

Event partner Vitra’s Clerkenwell showroom was transformed for the evening into an auction house. A collection of 30 stunning and diverse pieces of fine art, prints and photography, curated by Rise Art, were showcased in the auction, including Grayson Perry artwork “02, Six Snapshots of Julie” as the headline live auction piece.

Amongst the featured artists were works by Dali, Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Renoir.

The Woods by Salvador Dali

Donated works also included photographer Tommy Clarke’s aerial photograph “St Tropez Boats” and artist Tom Hammick’s “Smoke I (Day)” and “Smoke II (Towards Night)Other works on auction were exquisite prints, glass and fine art works by Mat CahillEmma NightingaleNick MaloneRebecca MasonRosie EmersonEllie VandoorneHarriet HoultCody ChoiMagnus GjoenLouise McNaughtAnna SudbinaRobert DuntMichelle Loa Kum CheungFernando VelazquezGina ParrMikela Henry-LoweKristjana S. WilliamsVictoria HorkanNiki Hare and Laura Jordan.

You Make Me Blush by Anna Sudbina

Artist Anna Sudbina, who kindly donated artwork “You Make Me Blush” says, “it was an amazing night at Vitra with the National Youth Arts TrustRise Art and Grayson Perry. So many beautiful souls, bright smiles, great conversations and art. Living a dream whilst helping young people realise theirs in the Arts. Can it get any better?”

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the inspiring artists who have kindly donated the incredible art collection on auction.

It was an unforgettable evening and the National Youth Arts Trust are thrilled that over £50,000 was raised in aid of the NYAT’s work with disadvantaged young performing artists.

NYAT patron Grayson Perry speaking to guests at the auction

Scott Phillips, Co-Founder of Rise Art, an event partner, said of the auction “NYAT’s charity art event was a fantastic win all around. I’m thrilled that together we raised over £50k to support access to the arts, while shining the light on some incredibly talented artists in the process.”

Guests heard from two beneficiaries of the charity, Ruby and Moses, about the financial support, training and mentoring received from the National Youth Arts Trust, and the difference this has made to their lives.

Moses Adupa, NYAT youth theatre alumnus

Moses said, “it was wonderful meeting everyone who is involved with supporting the NYAT. 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. It felt good to share [my story] and it was lovely that it resonated with others.”

NYAT’s trustee Dreda Say Mitchell commented “Hearing Ruby and Moses speak about the impact the Trust has on transforming lives reminded me of how important the work of the Trust is. Guests I spoke to were not only moved by their words but saw the work of the Trust in a new light.”

NYAT’s chair Joanna Kennedy said of the evening, “the range and excellence of the artwork on auction has been incredible – we were delighted to host such an exciting, high-profile auction and are very grateful to the artists, especially Grayson Perry, who have shown such strong support for the National Youth Arts Trust’swork. A very special thank you to our event partners, The Furniture PracticeRise Art and Vitra without whom the evening would not have been possible.”

The National Youth Arts Trust are passionate about the Arts. NYAT believe that now, more than ever, we need to invest in them. Art and culture have the potential to build bridges, strengthen communities and help us aspire to a fairer, more inclusive and more progressive society.

To do this, we need the Arts to be accessible to all – regardless of family wealth or where you are born. Sadly, many talented young people are prevented from following their passions by a lack of financial support, with the performing arts becoming less and less diverse as a result.

“Artistic and creative talent is handed out equally, and yet the ability to develop and nurture these talents is now dependent almost entirely on personal circumstance” – NYAT’s founder Fiona Laird.

Thanks to the incredible support and generosity received on the night, NYAT will be able to help more talented young people access bursaries, experience live theatre for the first time or be part of our youth theatre projects; experiences that would otherwise be beyond their reach.

Our event photographer Alex creatively captured the evening’s events so you can relive the most memorable moments on our social media pages!

Twitter: @NYAT_GB

Facebook: @NYATGB

Instagram: @nationalyouthartstrust

If you would like to find out more about the artist’s work, head over to Rise Art and Broad Gallery websites to find out more about all the featured artists.

To hear more about the National Youth Arts Trust’s work and to get involved, visit our website or contact us on or 07891835589.

Thank you to everyone who made this remarkable event happen, and for joining us to celebrate and support the Arts.

Photo credit: Alexandra Tilling

Fundraising with Shakespeare

Talented sixth-formers from West Sussex raised over £1,000 in aid of NYAT with a production of the Tempest

A talented group of sixth form students from West Sussex devised a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and performed it in the summer of 2017, in aid of the National Youth Arts Trust’s work. This brilliant student-led family production raised just over £1,000 for our work and featured original music.

The students are passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to an arts education which is why they very kindly supported NYAT’s work. We caught up with the cast to talk about the production and why they believe an education in the arts is so important:

Clare Packham, 18, the show’s director says,

“Our show is in support of the National Youth Arts Trust, a charity dedicated to providing young people with the opportunities necessary to further their arts education. The number of young people pursuing careers in the arts is declining rapidly. We believe the arts to be an absolute essential in society, and to discourage young people from developing their skills will be detrimental. We decided to support this charity as whilst we have access to arts tuition and facilities, not everybody does. We wish to excite and inspire children to explore the arts as more than just a hobby”.

“The purpose of our production is to inspire young people to take the initiative and create their own opportunities using local talent. Having visited schools for theatre-based and play writing workshops, it has become even more apparent that arts education needs the funding it deserves, as these children will flourish with more experiences that are currently unavailable for them.”

Sanmay Kanumakala, 18, who plays Viola, believes;

“It is important in the continuing austerity and the widening class divide to ensure that the arts do not become solely something for the privileged. This production with free entry and student actors and musicians helps to even the playing field and make the arts accessible to all.”

Tom Wheatland, 17, talks about the experience in playing Ariel:

“Being in The Tempest has been such an enjoyable experience. The relationship and collaboration between the cast has been wonderful; being able to work on a project with your friends and for a meaningful cause has made a production which I am truly proud of.”

Thank you very much to all these amazing students for your support, and for being an incredible champion for the arts and our cause.

For more information about the production or The Tempest workshops in schools please contact:

For more information about the National Youth Arts Trust’s work please contact: or visit our website:

“We all share an affinity for the arts”

27 musical theatre students from Guildford ran the “Nuts Challenge” in aid of NYAT’s work

The students competed in a 14 km mud run in Dorking in March 2017, and very kindly raised £2,500 to support our work – to help provide access to the arts for young people who would otherwise struggle to participate.

For those of you who don’t know what the Nuts Challenge is, it’s an assault course where runners encounter mud (lots of it), a water assault course, climbing, crawling and challenging obstacles all the way round. Not your average quarter marathon!

The challenge can’t have been easy – braving this tough obstacle course, along with some very cold and wet weather! They completed the course with a fantastic finish time of 4 hours and 32 minutes!

“We all share an affinity for the arts, and so feel strongly about helping talented young people gain access to theatre programmes, that they would otherwise be unable to afford. I hope we can raise as much money as possible.”

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our cause and thank you to these absolutely amazing students for all your fundraising efforts.

“Youth theatre changed my life”

Jonjo O’Neill raised nearly £1,500 by running the half marathon in aid of NYAT’s work

NYAT patron, Jonjo O’Neill, is a stage, TV and film actor, with a passion for the arts and providing access to the arts for young people where it is out of their reach.

Jonjo ran the Victoria Park half marathon in 2017 and very kindly raised an amazing £1,425 to support young musicians, dancers and actors from low income or disadvantaged backgrounds, access training and creative opportunities in the arts. 

“I went along to a youth theatre class in West Belfast in 1991 and it changed my life. It was a place where I felt different, where I could breathe in a way that I couldn’t at home, at school, or in the street. It’s increasingly easy for young people to slip through the cracks; kids from difficult backgrounds, without access to creative outlets. We have to invest in young people and creativity. The National Youth Arts Trust is a charity that focuses on providing those who are disadvantaged or in difficulty with access to creative outlets and opportunities.”

A big thank you to Jonjo and everyone who supported his Victoria Park half marathon. For example, £1,000 can help a young musician pay for one to one lessons, instrument hire, travel to and from classes and membership to learn in an ensemble with other young musicians for a whole year or more! Thank you!