On the 17th of December 1999, the United Nations declared the 12th of August as ‘International Youth Day’. UNESCO believes that young people are essential to finding solutions to the issues in the world today. They must be given the opportunity to engage in social development, and be supported in this work by their communities. Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature’s Youth Board led this years’ International Youth Day celebration and we loved having you there with us!

The aims of the International Youth Day celebrations this year were to:

  • Focus on creative careers
  • Getting creative 

In turn we:

  • indulged in conversations around creative careers, imposter syndrome and creating careers out of creativity. 
  • encouraged networking and getting creative with other young creatives in line with the themes of International Youth Day.

This year’s International Youth Day celebrations happened on 11th and 12th August, Friday and Saturday. Friday’s event Focus on Creative Careers ran from 1-5pm at the Waterstones Sillitoe room, before moving over to Nottingham Playhouse for a “Speak Easy” after party between 6pm-8pm.

Events on the day included an exploration of the arts sector in terms of providing viable career options, a panel talk focused on exploring ‘imposter syndrome’ and creating careers out of creativity, as well as the added perk of the Speak Easy right after the event at Waterstones! The panel was led by three incredible creatives in different parts of their career!

After the panel there was plenty of networking as well as an invitation to companies and individuals to promote events around the city by sharing leaflets and contacts. Catering from a local caterer was provided to keep both stomachs and hearts full!

Saturday’s event, running from 10am-1pm in the Waterstones Sillitoe room, focused on getting creative and networking with other young people! Activities included creative workshops alongside fresh breakfast and an exploration into the themes of International Youth Day.

“I have learnt so much within my time on the board and have so many good memories. My favourite memory however, has to be when I was given the opportunity to lead the organisation of International Youth Day 2023. This was a paid opportunity that gave me a chance to learn about the realities of creating wide scale events and explore creative freedom and responsibility.” – Abigail Hutchison, a member of our Youth Advisory Board who led on International Youth Day 2023.

As part of the International Youth Day celebrations this year, we joined forces with our partner Cities of Literature to spread word and encourage expression of creativity amongst youth through multiple events ranging from literature festivals to Ted Talks and more! 

Read about Our partner Cities of Literature and their work with young people here: Read More