Creative Black Country project 100 Masters wins the European Youth Award

One of Parv Kaur’s dancers shows the crowd what to do at the Festival of Masters - image by Dee Patel

One of Parv Kaur’s dancers shows the crowd what to do at the Festival of Masters - image by Dee Patel

Creative Black Country project 100 Masters wins the European Youth Award.

A project produced in the Black Country has won an international European Youth Award for ‘Smart Learning’.

100 Masters is a campaign, produced by Creative Black Country, that highlights local people’s skills, expertise and their extraordinary achievements to inspire the pioneers of tomorrow.

Selected from across the region by public nomination in 2017, the shortlisted 100 Masters were chosen via a panel selection process and come from a dazzling breadth of backgrounds, ages and areas of the region.

The exceptional list ranges from award-winning authors, sought-after designers, green-fingered gardeners, globe-trotting art directors, engineers, athletes, crafts people, entrepreneurs, brewers, dancers, artists, poets and community ambassadors, with plenty in-between, all representing present-day talent from the Black Country.

The project has included a website profiling each Master, commissioned portraits and a large-scale ‘Festival of Masters’ event, which took place in 2017.

A series of short videos of several of the Masters has trended across social media reaching over 20 million views over the past 10 months and is one of the reasons the jury chose the project as ‘one of the most promising digital projects with social impact in Europe and the MENA Region (Middle East and North African).’

The seventh edition of the European Youth Award (EYA) brought together twenty-four members of the all-European jury in Prishtina, Kosovo, to decide on twelve winning projects.

Creative Black Country Creative Producer, Liam Smyth, and Project Administrator, Rosalind Argo, have been invited to spend three days in Graz, Austria, at the award’s Festival at the end of this month.

Liam said: “The 100 Masters team are delighted to have been selected as one of this year’s winners. We chose to participate in EYA as we wanted to be part of a talented and powerful network of digital innovators working to make a positive change in society. We are keen to learn from, and exchange knowledge with, other young teams across different sectors and different countries all across Europe."

The main aim of the awards is to support and encourage young people to use digital technologies to create solutions that improve the lives of people. 100 Masters was evaluated on creativity, digital implementation, sustainability and economic potential.

The international Jury commented on choosing 100 Masters stating: “We were convinced that the project is promoting and connecting artists and creatives in a region of transition. It is finding hidden talent there, it is informative and educating, it is addressing a social need and helps inspire future talents. For those reasons it was outstanding in its category and was chosen by the jury as the category winner.”

Birgit Kolb, Project Manager of the European Youth Award, on the 2018 edition:
It's really impressive to see the smart solutions young people from all over Europe come up with. They tackle the most pressing challenges in their environment creatively.

As part of the awards CBC has been offered a mentor. Dr. Karim Taga is Managing Partner at Arthur D. Little, Austria and was a Jury member at the 2018 European Youth Awards.
“I am proud to be mentor of such a great project. It is not only inspiring to see young people contribute to the future of our world but also to experience the passion that comes with it. 100 Masters helps us to make sure that hard work and passion for every individual in the world will pay off. As I am travelling the whole world during my work, I am glad that the rest of the world is able to take notice of the hard work that is being done by the people of the Black Country. We at Arthur D. Little are always looking for the best and most noteworthy persons, who can contribute something special to our company. For this reason the concept of “100 Masters” is what we are experiencing in our organizational environment, enlarged to the world. I am delighted to be part of the 100 Masters mission.”

Friend of CBC; Independent writer and researcher, François Matarasso, who has a long career in arts practice, theory and policy said:
”Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters programme is one of the monst original things I’ve seen come out of the Creative People and Places Network.”

100 MastersKerry O'CoyAwards, EYA