Cashback: creating opportunities in the arts
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop joined young filmmakers, musicians and dancers who are developing their career skills thanks to the confiscated funds from criminal activity.
Over the last three years £2.25 million has been invested in CashBack for Creativity, providing over 15,000 opportunities for young people in Scotland to participate in arts activities they would not have otherwise had access to.
Ms Hyslop said: “The real impact of CashBack on young people’s lives can’t be expressed by statistics or in stark monetary terms – CashBack changes lives.
“The CashBack for Communities Programme takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them in back into communities, putting young people on a positive path in life by providing opportunities for them to take part in thousands of free activities and projects.”
Programme participants have included Yutsil Martinez, who began in making short films with Pilton-based Screen Education Edinburgh project in 2011. Yutsil has gone on to star in the Screen Education film, Man With No Name, and was nominated for the Chris Anderson Award for Best Young Filmmaker 2013 (sponsored by the National Youth Film Academy). He was awarded an acting scholarship at the National Film Youth Academy in London after winning a Best Actor award at the event.
Yutsil said: “Participating in these projects and shoots has allowed me to find opportunities and meet other filmmakers and professionals in the field. The CashBack for Creativity Programme has been instrumental in helping me build my confidence and really develop my passion for working in the industry, and carve a future career for myself.”
Paul Reynolds earned a placement at Edinburgh’s DanceBase through the CashBack for Creativity Programmewhere and he discovered a passion for dance and performing arts. Attending DanceBase and developing as a dancer taught Paul new skills that he believes will see him through life. He now has a love of being on stage and performing for a big audience describing the feeling and rush he gets from performing as “incredible”.
Paul said: “Only a few years ago I struggled to talk to people I’d never met before and I had little confidence and self-esteem, but with my participation at DanceBase through CashBack, I am now more confident and focused regarding what I want from life.”
Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said: “Providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the arts, theatre and cultural activities can help improve confidence and broaden their horizons.
“Over the next three years, the CashBack for Creativity programme will enable approximately 20,000 young would-be filmmakers, dancers, musicians, artists, actors, writers and digital enthusiasts to work in professional settings with experienced practitioners, helping to inspire them to achieve their potential in their future careers.
She added: “I was delighted to meet a number of young participants who have been given the chance to work on interesting and educational CashBack projects and develop their personal, social and career skills.”
CashBack for Creativity is part of the wider Scottish Government CashBack for Communities programme. To date over £74 million has been made available to benefit over 600,000 young people in Scotland since CashBack for Communities began in 2011.
Twitter: @CB4Creativity #CashBack4Creativity