The fourth International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) is set to kick-off this week.

The three-week long festival celebrating all forms of art from dance, drama, graffiti, puppetry to music, mosaic-making, storytelling and comedy will begin today.

The vibrant festival will allow 8,000 young people to take centre-stage in 350 different events across 15 venues in Kingston.

The first week of the festival will be dedicated to engaging members of the community, particularly young people, in art-related workshops.

Workshops for circus skills, carnival costume making and creating music albums are just some of the masterclasses available.

Choreographers from Rambert Dance Company, Sakoba Dance, Motionhouse and Ballet Boyz will also be leading specialist dance classes through the week.

The Rose Theatre will host a number of events throughout the festival as will All Saints Church, the Market House and Kingston College.

On July 6, the festival’s first concert, Raise the Roof, will wow audiences at the Rose. The production will then be followed by numerous shows in the borough for the rest of the festival.

Creative Youth, a charity involved in arts projects, has put on the festival.

Festival patron and 2008 Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers said: "I am delighted and proud to be a patron of Creative Youth.

"For over three years now I have had the honour of being a supporter of the charity that has helped and mentored the work of talented young people.

"I am really looking forward to IYAF 2012 and what promises to be a spectacular programme."

For more information on workshops, shows and events visit