Started in 1973, Young Arts provides exciting opportunities for children and young people to expand their horizons through their involvement in creative arts activities. We aim to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts and an awareness of our arts heritage and its conservation. Our vision is equality of opportunity for all to learn through participation in the arts.

NADFAS encourages its Societies to provide Young Arts opportunities in two ways:

  1. Young Arts Projects: an arts related activity for young people (usually a one off) funded wholly or partly by a NADFAS Society.
  2. Young Arts Groups: these are affiliated to a local Society, YA Groups organise regular arts related activites for their young members aged 8-18.

On Wednesday 27 June 2012 John Gooderham and Pat Moore were privileged to be invited to visit Meath School, Ottershaw, where a small class would be participating in an interactive visit from the Watts Gallery. This was subsequent to their visit there two weeks earlier, and it was obvious the children had enjoyed their trip and the selection of pictures they had viewed. The follow-up visit by three staff from the Watts Gallery Education Team was to encourage the children to remember this visit, recall the earlier descriptions of the pictures, view them again and then be offered the opportunity to dress up in exactly the clothes the characters were wearing! They were very excited at this, and those more confident were soon being helped to put on a soldier's scarlet uniform or petticoats and lace-up stays and pretty dresses. Quite naturally, they took on the pose the pictures portrayed and were then photographed by staff. The outfits changed and the initially reluctant were soon taking on a new role, strutting the stage and causing quite a lot of amusement and fun amongst us all. We were quite amazed at the recall, by a few of the children, of the story the pictures depicted and it was also moving to hear others trying to explain what the painter was trying to show. Their initial visit had obviously been carefully planned and the children were familiar with the staff from the Watts Gallery; the young woman in charge was both encouraging and enthusiastic. The dressing up clothes were professionally made, with a number of changes possible. This visit gave a lot of pleasure to the children, and we believe they loved the whole experience. It would be too easy to underestimate how important it is for 'challenged' young children to enjoy, and be excited by, this type of adventure. We felt it was very worthwhile support from RDFAS to the children of Meath School as part of our Young Arts initiatives.