WATERFORD YOUTH ARTS is a youth and community arts resource which enables young people to participate in creative activity as a means of self-expression and development in a safe, professional and enjoyable environment.

WYA at The Arch, Old Military Barracks, Barrack St

WYA is recognised nationally as one of the country's leading youth arts organisations, and each week over 400 young people take part in its activities. Established in August 1985 WYA has grown from the voluntary efforts of two individuals and 25 young people to a fully-structured youth arts organisation with a paid staff.

To the general public, the most visible aspect of WYA is its drama, dance and film productions. But WYA is primarily an educational organisation, and its main activity is operating its Workshops. WYA runs drama, dance, film, creative writing, circus, choir and visual arts Workshops throughout the year for young people. These Workshops take place every week and are run by professional tutors.

Youth arts activity is a proven method of personal development and education. Through youth arts, WYA aims to:
  • enable young people to articulate their needs clearly in a safe group 
  • enable young people to develop interpersonal skills, such as confidence, social interaction, responsibility sharing, planning, decision making, and problem sharing 
  • introduce young people to new and innovative elements of the arts 
  • provide training and education in creative skills 
WYA is founded on the principles of youth work and has strong working links with other youth and community groups in Waterford.