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Certificate in Youth Arts Testimonials

John Taite (NUI Certificate in Youth Arts 2003-2004)

National Association for Youth Drama
 

What attracted/encouraged you to take part in the Certificate in Youth Arts?

One of the main attractions was an opportunity to formalise and further develop my knowledge of the youth arts sector, particularly relating to my own area of youth drama. I also saw it as an opportunity to challenge myself academically as all my knowledge of the sector was based on practical experience.
What did you get out of the course?
I felt it formalised my knowledge and widened my understanding of the youth arts sector. It allowed me to confirm a lot of what I already knew but it also challenged a lot of my perceived notions of practice and methodology. I gained a deeper understanding of youth drama practice and methodology and also a good insight into delivery and practice of other art forms.
How do you now use your experience of the course/ how has the course impacted on your work?
It had a big impact on my work with the National Association for Youth Drama and in particular my delivery of training on our youth drama facilitation course. The youth arts course allowed me to develop professionally and in turn equipped me to help others develop their practice.  
Eileen Vaughan (NUI Certificate in Youth Arts 2003-2004)
East Wall Youth

What attracted/encouraged you to take part in the Certificate in Youth Arts?
It was the first course of its kind (pilot year) that I was aware of. I had been involved in youth and community arts for many years and wished to consolidate my experience within a professional framework. It seemed tailor-made for me at the time. 

What did you get out of the course?
Knowledge of the history and development of youth arts in Ireland through site visits and presentations by other artists. A good insight into a diversity of youth arts practices. A clear working methodology and best practice guidelines. Encouragement and a sense of enthusiasm in developing my youth arts practice. 

How do you now use your experience of the course/ how has the course impacted on your work?
I have undertaken more significant youth arts programmes and now coordinate an annual youth arts festival for a network of five youth projects. I have developed good working partnerships with a number of arts organisations, which has further developed the professionalism of my programmes. My fund-raising abilities have been enhanced. As a youth worker with an arts background, I now tend to work with professional artists whenever possible.
 
Marlijn Gelsing (NUI Certificate in Youth Arts 2006-2007)
Ballymun Regional Youth Service

What attracted/encouraged you to take part in the Certificate in Youth Arts?
I had been working in youth work for quite a long time and have always sought to combine my background in film and photography and the arts in general in working with young people. I felt I needed a refresher and accreditation to increase my chances in the youth arts sector. I wanted to make new contacts and learn about new development in the youth arts sector and some new practical ideas for my own practice. 

What did you get out of the course?
Mostly confidence in my own practice as a youth arts worker. During the course I changed jobs from being a youth worker to a full time youth arts worker, coordinating a creative media project with BRYR in Ballymun. I do think being on the course helped me in this process.  

How do you now use your experience of the course/ how has the course impacted on your work? 
I feel a bit freer to pursue my own ideas and bring people along in my programme development.

Annette Woolley (NUI Certificate in Youth Arts 2007-2008)

Freelance Youth Arts Facilitator

What attracted / encouraged you to take part in the certificate in youth arts?
I was working through the arts in mainstream education and youth work on both a professional and voluntary basis, but had never received formal training. So I felt any assistance would be beneficial. The Certificate in Youth Arts course was initially a means of gaining a recognisable qualification which would help further my education or career prospects within the arts sector. The fact that it was a part time course in blocks rather than a weekly commitment was ideally suited to arrange around work and personal schedules. The bursary offered by the local authority was a major attraction as I could never have afforded the fee under normal circumstances.

What did you get out of the course?
What didn’t I get out of the course?! It was invaluable, the understanding of the what, whys and hows involved in youth arts from practical facilitation skills to how to impress potential funders and manage projects. Useful contacts were made through the course not only with fellow students with skill sets and knowledge to be utilised, but also with relevant organisations. However, just as important is how I changed for the better along this journey of discovery. My confidence, self worth and self esteem have all grown. I no longer doubt the validity of my experience or capability to facilitate art projects because on paper “I wasn’t qualified”. I have developed as an artist and as a person due to the learning and support available. I’d recommend the Certificate in Youth Arts to anyone with an interest in youth work or the arts. Just remember, you get out what you are prepared to put in.

How do you now use your experience of the course / how has the course impacted on    your work?
The impact of the course on my work practice has been immense. The planning, organisation, methodologies and focus are much clearer and more efficient than before. It has also directly led to paid employment and good working relationships with arts, youth and community organisations.