International Youth Arts Festival, the largest UK multi-arts festival aimed at young people aged 5-26, announced on 18 November that it is changing its name to FUSE International Festival. The organisers of the festival, run by the charity Creative Youth, have ascribed the change to a new revitalised direction after the Covid-19 lockdowns, and wish to appeal to the older members of their targeted age bracket: 18-26 year olds.
The International Youth Arts Festival began operations back in 2009. It brings in young talent from around the world and showcases them during several summer events in London. Taking a highly varied approach to the arts, creative forms on display during previous years include theatre, dance, music, film, circus, comedy, and visual arts. According to their website a minimum of 1,500 young creatives are involved in their activities each year.
Going forward, FUSE will feature more programmes of events during evenings and weekends in order to create a Fringe-festival-like environment. There will also be increased emphasis on creative work produced around the world, as well as art that explores greater engagement with the diverse communities of the UK.
Also on the agenda for next year is the opening of a new creative space in the centre of Kingston, entitled "Factory for the Future". This will be an artistic venue that offers young artists and practitioners a space to connect with each other and work on their chosen crafts. It will be the home for FUSE, and will encourage a wider community hub.
Speaking on the launch of FUSE International, Festival Director Petra Tauscher said “After a difficult period for the Arts, Creative Youth is delighted to be launching FUSE International which will incorporate the very best of the International Youth Arts Festival as well as introducing new elements for the future. I am looking forward to building on our eclectic Fringe programme with even more opportunities for young emerging artists and finding new ways to celebrate the unique atmosphere of our summer festival.”
The new name comes with new logos, branding, and aesthetic designs, as demonstrated on their website. The new style was created by a collaboration with Creative Youth's Young Creatives Panel – a group of young creatives that contribute to the direction of Creative Youth.
Max Percy, one of Creative Youth’s Young Creatives said “I am incredibly thrilled to see Creative Youth’s annual summer Festival growing, having experienced it first-hand and been able to springboard my career and artistic practice from it. I came from across the globe in Hong Kong to pursue my career in theatre-making, and have very much benefited from international collaborations, opening many job opportunities, innovation and much more. I am excited for our next chapter as FUSE International and can’t encourage everyone enough to get involved and be a part of it.”
Applications for young artists and companies to become involved in 2022's FUSE International Festival — held from 1 to 10 July — can be filled in here.