Creative Encounters

Forthview pupils demonstrating articles from the UNCRC. Credit c. Cedric Audinot
Forthview pupils demonstrating articles from the UNCRC. Credit c. Cedric Audinot
Creative Encounters is a project for children to let our voices be heard. It is very fun, not just telling you something. They show you what you're doing and of course letting you get to choose if you want to do it or not and it's breaking the news and making headlines at the Pilton Festival and even had its own show. They took inspiration from every one of the classes.

—Amy, P5, Forthview Pupil

Creative Encounters is Imaginate’s flagship three-year project in partnership with North Edinburgh Arts focused on the incorporation of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. Together, children, artists and Imaginate will explore what it means to put children's rights at the heart of the creative process. 

From autumn 2022 until summer 2025, children from North Edinburgh are working with artists and Imaginate staff to co-create new theatre and dance performances, giving a central role to children’s ideas, interests and voices. These new performances are presented in the local community and at Family Encounters as part of the 2023, 2024 and 2025 Edinburgh International Children’s Festivals. 

For Imaginate, Creative Encounters is an opportunity to develop a children’s rights-based approach to our organisational policies, processes, and decision making. Through this long-term collaboration with children, we hope to explore and discover new relationships and ways of working.

To find out more, get in touch with Lou Brodie (Creative Projects Facilitator) or call 0131 225 8050. 

Children as decision makers

The project aims to develop children’s confidence, creativity and sense of self-efficacy. Young people are involved as key decision makers from the beginning of the project. Children commission an artist to create a theatre or dance performance, and take part in workshops on curation, content creation, photography, journalism, speech writing, and decision making. Children also play a central role in shaping the design and delivery of the whole Creative Encounters project. 

Read more about our Year 2 decision makers 

Children as creative collaborators 

In addition to their role in commissioning and decision making, children are also invited into the artists’ creative process to co-create performances. This may see them in role as dramaturgs, taking part in research and development as devisors, or influencing elements of design and script. We are excited to explore this process and find ways to meaningfully incorporate and act upon children’s ideas and feedback. 

In Year 1 (2022/23), children from Forthview Primary School collaborated with Cynthia Cheung to co-create a new performance Hat Hat Hat. Read more about Hat, Hat, Hat and the creative process

In Year 2, (2023/24), we are excited to be working with two groups of young people who will each commission a performance. The children from Forthview Primary School and Pilton Youth & Children's Project will announce their commissions in 2024!

The project is supported by Baillie Gifford, Young Start, Arts & Business Culture & Business Fund Scotland, and the PLaCE fund.