Youth Arts Practitioner Awards (YAPA)

Creative Learning are part of Aberdeen City Council’s Early Intervention and Community Empowerment function, with a collaborative partnership approach to delivering creativity across the city to enable Aberdeen citizens to employ creative approaches to enrich their lives and reach their potential. 

Creative Learning has been awarded £50k Youth Arts Recovery funding through Creative Scotland to support and administer the Youth Arts Small Grants Fund to freelance creatives practitioners. The Youth Arts Practitioner Awards (YAPA) scheme will support employment for practitioners to help sustain creative opportunities for children and young people despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.   

YAPA is now closed to applications. 

However you may be interested in the Creative Funding Awards.

Who Can Apply

The fund is open to freelance creative practitioners living and practicing in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire working in music and wider art forms. We expect individuals applying to have strong and appropriate skills in their artform, and relevant experience of working with children and young people.

The fund is not open to applications from organisations, local authorities, groups, or clubs. 

Funds Available

£40k of funds will be allocated through the Youth Arts Practitioner Awards (YAPA) 

Individuals can apply to the Youth Arts Practitioner Awards for grants between £500 and £5000 for the collaborative development and delivery of high-quality artist led youth arts activity taking place in the Aberdeen City. 

YAPA is open for applications from the 5th of February to practitioners working in music and wider art forms, activity is to be co designed with children and young people, with a focus on supporting wellbeing, skills development and employability. 

We are looking for innovative proposals that are flexible and can adapt to changes in restrictions to include working virtually, outdoors and socially distanced in various youth and cultural settings. 

Applicants are required to submit their creative ideas/activities proposed for working with the identified priority groups below. We aim to attract experienced and skilled individuals who through their established creative practice can inspire, engage, nurture and upskill children and young people up to the age of 25 years. 

Creative learning is also keen to hear from recent graduates who have a genuine interest in developing their practice in youth settings, support and mentoring to successful applicants would be available.

Priority Groups 

Projects with children and young people can cover 0-25 age group
Projects will respond to identified priorities for children and young people who are: 

  • Those living in poverty or residing in areas of social and economic deprivation. For more information on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) please visit the Scottish Government website  
  • Are experiencing or at risk of experiencing harm and neglect.    
  • Are in the early years (0-5) of their life.   
  • Are from Black and/or Minority Ethnic backgrounds.  
  • Have a disability and/or additional support needs.   
  • Are experiencing mental ill health.  


Development of YAPA will initially be taking place virtually and, when possible, physically in various youth settings in line with Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance. An online support programme of networking and training opportunities will run concurrently for successful recipients of a YAPA award. Mentoring will be more bespoke and limited offer. 


Creative Learning will suitably match successful YAPA recipients with a host organisation through the application assessment and online interview process. 

Youth and art (host and/or network) organisations have been selected as they have demonstrated their ability to adapt and continue to work with children and young people from the priority groups throughout the Covid-19 restrictions.

Creative Learning are working in partnership with Station House Media Unit and other Culture Aberdeen partners to extend the reach of the fund and to provide art form expertise and support for artists. YAPA will connect artists and organisations who have the same desired outcomes. Host organisations and/or network partners include, Aberdeen Foyer Futures, Barnardos, Aberdeen City Council’s Youth Work Team and Children 1st.   

From April – June there will be the opportunity to shape initiatives that will take place between June 2021 – March 2022.

YAPA host partner interview videos

Creative Learning filmed some short interviews with YAPA hosts so you can find out more about their work with young people, please see short film clips below:

Aberdeen City Council’s Youth Work Team 

Creative Learning’s Alison Black is joined by Youth Workers Kirsty Wylie and Natasha Watt to discuss the different young people they work with and what their work with young people has looked like this last year. Creative Learning and the Youth work service are part of Aberdeen City Council. 

Aberdeen Foyer Futures 

Creative Learning’s Margaret Stewart is joined by Amiee Ross, Ashley McCorquodale And Katie McGunnigle to discuss what work with young people has looked like over the last year and how they see young people benefiting from the YAPA initiative. Creative Learning is part of Aberdeen City Council. 


Creative Learning’s Alison Black is joined by Barnardo’s Cliff Graham to discuss Barnardo’s work with young people and how they could benefit from working with a creative practitioner through YAPA. Creative Learning is part of Aberdeen City Council.

Children 1st  

Creative Learning’s Alison Black met with Lindsay Jessiman from Children 1st to find out about how the children and young people they work with might benefit from the Youth Arts Practitioner Awards and to discuss what working over this last year has looked like for the children and young people they support. Creative Learning is part of Aberdeen City Council. 

Station House Media Unit

Creative Learning’s Alison Black is joined by Heather Evans of SHMU to discuss the variety of programmes they offer to young people, how they have been working over this last year and what benefits foresee for the young people they work with as a result of YAPA. Creative Learning is part of Aberdeen City Council. 


Are you a dancer interested in applying for YAPA? 

Citymoves share Project Strive showcasing their work with young people and what can be achieved through youth arts initiatives like YAPA.

Project Strive was funded by CashBack for Communities.

How to apply

Please ensure you fully read the YAPA Guidance for Creative Practitioners.

Once you are ready to proceed, download and complete the relevant YAPA Application for Creative Practitioners. 

Please send your completed application and supporting information before the appropriate deadline to

Deadline for applications:  YAPA is now closed to applications. 

Please download the application form to your desktop and only use the latest version of Adobe Reader to complete. 

Please do not use Preview or any other application to fill in this form.

If you have any issues with the template, please email  and we can send out a word document.

Find out more

Creative Learning’s Mandy Clarke introduces the Youth Arts Practitioner Award initiative and is joined by freelance practitioner Shane Strachan to talk through the process of applying for YAPA. 

YAPA information event 


For enquiries about YAPA or to book a one to one online advice session at an alternative time please contact Creative Learning, Aberdeen City Council via email:  or telephone: 01224 611161


Find out more about Creative Learning and follow us on social media.




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