ArtsSmart Launches the 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge

ArtsSmarts is pleased to announce the launch of a two-year pilotproject of an exciting arts in education initiative, the 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge.

Within an environment of youth-led learning, the 21st 21YCCCentury Youth Creativity Challenge will stimulate, support and seed a national series of ArtsSmarts projects that engage and enable Grades 6 to 12 students to become active creators of their own future by finding their passion, experiencing success in learning, and developing the skills and competencies required to excel in the 21st Century.

“The 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge will catalyze a generation of interdisciplinary thinkers by igniting and fuelling their passion for exploring pressing topics of our times through the ArtsSmarts approach to project-based learning rooted in arts-infused, creative inquiry,” said ArtsSmarts Executive Director Jason van Eyk. “By working in collaboration with their peers and a team of creative/education/community mentors, participating student collectives from across the country will pursue their discoveries through to breakthrough solutions and creative expressions tangibly connected to personally relevant 21st Century challenges.”

A particular emphasis will be placed upon collaborative projects that explore issues of personal identity, social inclusion and community belonging – persistent themes deeply connected to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of our nation.

In keeping with ArtsSmarts’ emphasis on sustained creative ArtsSmarts Quebecinquiry, students will participate in using the arts as a process of learning, following a path of focused research, purposeful analysis, imaginative idea generation, creative expression and public exhibition of ideas and solutions, followed by deep critical reflection on the project process and products achieved.

The 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge will be shaped by a National Youth Advisory Committee, which will work in collaboration with ArtsSmarts’ staff and key creative and community mentors to collectively determine all of the initiative’s elements, from the project application, evaluation and selection processes to project branding and marketing, and the scope and implementation of project support, reporting and documentation. The National Youth Advisory Committee will also develop the criteria around an annual cash prize for the best realized 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge project each year.

The National Youth Advisory Committee will be 21YCC pic 2constituted of youth from across Canada, who will be nominated from nearly 300 communities across the country by the ArtsSmarts national partner network. This committee is ideal for students who want to deepen their involvement in helping shape the future of their country and who want to strengthen their leadership skills.

Further information about ArtsSmarts’ 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge can be found at Be sure to watch for further announcements, including the first 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge call for proposals, the announcement of selected projects from across the country, and the annual best project prize winner.

The 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge is funded through a mix of public and private supporters, with lead support from the Youth Take Charge Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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