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Learn how you can use the recently released Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Action Blueprint as a resource in your work to advance the role of creativity in youth development. Led by the CYD National Partnership and a cross-sector coalition, this one-hour, interactive forum is designed for CYD practitioners and alumni, funders, researchers, and allied youth sector leaders.
During the forum, we will discuss:
The CYD National Movement and Blueprint goals
How CYD aligns with the priorities of allied youth sectors, including education, juvenile justice, and afterschool
Recommendations for advancing CYD in three strategic priority areas VISIBILITY & IMPACT: Documenting and Communicating Outcomes and Impact FUNDING: Expanding Pathways to Funding FIELD BUILDING: Professional Development, Networking, and Technical Assistance
Creative youth development is a long-standing, intentional practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles. In these programs, young people create original work—including animated films, 3-D printed sculptures, dance and theater productions, musical compositions, curated book collections, and more—and apply their creative skills to solve problems, shape their lives, and imagine and build the world in which they want to live.
Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Blueprint outlines strategies for positive change
The Creative Youth Development National Partnership, in concert with more than 650 cross-sector stakeholders nationally, is calling for all young people to have equitable access to opportunities to: realize their creative potential; live richer, fuller lives; and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities.
Creative youth development is a long-standing practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles. In these programs, young people create original work—including animated films, 3-D printed sculptures, dance and theater productions, musical compositions, curated book collections, and more—and apply their creative skills to solve problems, shape their lives, and imagine and build the world in which they want to live.
With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the CYD National Partnership—which includes the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Americans for the Arts, the Mass Cultural Council, and formerly the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities—gathered input on strategies to expand the reach and impact of CYD through numerous community conversations throughout the country over an 18-month period.
VISIBILITY & IMPACT: Documenting and Communicating Outcomes and Impact
FUNDING: Expanding Pathways to Funding
FIELD BUILDING: Professional Development, Networking, and Technical Assistance
Woven throughout the Blueprint are core values of the CYD coalition: racial equity and social justice, youth voice, and collective action. Read the Executive Summary.
“Creative youth development has the unique potential to deepen and sustain youth engagement by providing opportunities for youth to develop their creative potential, amplify their voices, and build leadership skills,” said Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. “For many youth, CYD programs also can be a pathway to other services such as college and career readiness, mental health services, academic support, and more.”
Participants in this national movement include youth, practitioners, researchers, funders, policy makers, and other stakeholders in creative youth development and allied sectors. The Partnership also commissioned research by the Forum for Youth Investment that mapped opportunities for alignment, e.g. developing social emotional competence; promoting healthy decision making/behaviors; and reengaging young people in positive learning and work environments, among CYD and allied youth sectors, including afterschool, juvenile justice, mental health, education, and workforce development. Three cross-sector Action Teams were then formed to analyze and distill the research and stakeholder inputs and make final recommendations for the Blueprint.
“Providing today’s youth with the skills they need to lead fulfilling lives across all economic, social, and family circumstances is a large-scale undertaking,” said Erik Peterson, Vice President of Policy, Afterschool Alliance. “To do this urgent work effectively, we must work together to share lessons learned, networks, and resources.”
The Blueprint will evolve as implementation unfolds and will be updated online to reflect progress toward goals.
The Creative Youth Development National Partnership aims to ensure that creative youth development is a broadly-implemented, well-researched, and equitably-funded practice and available to all youth so that they may realize their full potential and thrive.
CYD National Partners include:
The National Guild for Community Arts Education, which ensures all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education. www.nationalguild.org
Americans for the Arts, which serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. www.americansforthearts.org
Mass Cultural Council, a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences in order to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. Over the past 20 years, Mass Cultural Council has invested more than $10 million in creative youth development, resulting in a vibrant community of programs. www.massculturalcouncil.org
All young people deserve to have equitable opportunities to reach their creative potential, live richer and fuller lives, and develop the critical life skills they need to become active contributors in their communities.
On June 14-15, join your peers from diverse communities across country for Americans for the Art’s Creative Youth Development Preconferenceand explore new paths forward for arts education during out-of-school time.
Creative Youth Development unifies a longstanding community of practice integrating the arts, humanities, and sciences with youth development principles, sparking young people’s creativity and building critical learning and life skills. At this hands-on workshop in Denver, CO, hear from inspiring youth leaders, adult practitioners, and dive deep into case studies on a range of topics from program development and evaluation to financial models of sustainability.
Attention to the role of creativity in positive youth development is growing, as evidenced by new opportunities for networking, emerging research, and a recent resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. However, few opportunities exist for youth to participate meaningfully participate in national and regional forums where adults are designing programs and making policy decisions that affect young people. As the primary national convener for community arts education leaders, the National Guild’s Conference for Community Arts Education has a unique opportunity to amplify and support youth voice and leadership within the sector and deepen connections and learning between young people. In addition to a dedicated track of Creative Youth Development sessions and network meetings, this year’s conference (November 15-18 in San Francisco/Oakland) piloted an Emerging Young Artist Residency, which brought together youth, ages 16-24, and teaching artists from Destiny Arts Center (Oakland, CA), Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and RAW Art Works (Lynn, MA) to collaboratively create an original performance piece that explored critical social issues connected to conference themes.
These young artists participated as delegates, attending conference sessions and roundtables, and then rehearsed offsite at Destiny in the afternoons. The residency culminated in a powerful performance at the Annual Awards Breakfast on Nov. 18. The impact of this experience for the youth involved—as well as for the attendees—was remarkable.
As Jai’Len Smith, a student of Mosaic Youth Theatre, put it: “This experience was truly unforgettable. I think youth are going to be vital in advancing the arts, their communities, and social change more broadly . . . When they’re put in positions and on platforms where they’re able to voice their concerns as well as their desires and be something like a spokesperson for their communities and their generation as a whole, I believe they will be more impactful than any of us can imagine.”
First presented in 1998, the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards was presented through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in cooperation with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
In its 19th year, the award has recognized 285 after-school and out-of-school-time programs for achieving a wide range of outcomes in the lives of children and youth, often from underserved communities across the country. Among the outcomes generated by these programs are higher grades and graduation rates, increased college attendance rates, and skill development ranging from collaboration and critical thinking to leadership and confidence.
“These 12 creative youth development programs represent the best of the best,” said Pam Breaux, president and chief executive officer of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. “They are living proof of the power of the arts and the humanities to build the skills young people need to succeed in school and in life.”
In addition to their recognition by the nation’s arts and culture agencies, each of the 12 community-based programs will receive $10,000. For more information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, visit nahyp.org.
This July, the National Partners brought together 100+ leaders from across sectors and around the country for a CYD National Stakeholder Meeting in Boston. The purpose of the meeting was to drive collective action to advance the role of creativity in positive youth development. Over two days, this community of stakeholders worked together to prioritize strategic actions to holistically support positive change in the lives of young people. Participants included youth, practitioners, researchers, funders, policy makers and other stakeholders in creative youth development and allied sectors (e.g., mental health, juvenile justice, workforce development, youth development, education, and community development). The focus of the National Stakeholder Meeting was on tapping the wisdom, experience, and diverse perspectives of the stakeholders in the room to amplify promising strategies highlighted in recent research and practice, increase investment in creative youth development nationally, and catalyze action that will bring new resources and support to CYD practice throughout the country.
Participants at the National Stakeholder Meeting identified three strategic priority areas. These areas build off the initial policy agenda drafted in 2014. Cross-sector collaboration, equity, and youth voice were central frameworks used in drafting initial recommendations for strategic action in each area.
1. Document and Communicate Impact
Raise Awareness & Estimation of CYD as a Solution for Positive Outcomes for Youth.
Collect, Aggregate, and Communicate Data on Field & Outcomes
2. Establish Pathways to Funding
Increased Investment in CYD
3. Connect to Learn
Networking and relationship building, including youth and alumnae, affinity groups and cross sector groups; nationally, regionally, and virtually.
Provide Ongoing Professional Development, Technical Assistance, and Communication Resources.
The Partnership is in the process of synthesizing the input from the National Stakeholder meeting in addition to research and other inputs to inform the CYD National Blueprint to be published this winter. Over the next few months, we are engaging Action Teams of CYD stakeholders to help us further develop these three strategic priorities and identify some early wins. These initial Action Teams will serve from September – December. The objectives of the Action Team are to: 1) Help develop the strategic priority areas of the CYD National Blueprint; and 2) Help determine early wins in 2018. The Blueprint will be published on the CYD National Partnership website, shared with the field, and will be updated to reflect progress and the ever-changing funding and policy landscape.
With a varied roster of national and local agencies, educators, artists, and academia from South Korea, Scotland, India, Australia, Norway, and New Zealand, these guests met to distill the findings of the NSM, and, led by veteran teaching artist Eric Booth, were engaged in an incredibly fertile conversation, in which different models and approaches were presented, all unified by the importance of empowering young people and nurturing creativity as an integral part of our communities.
For four years, Xavier participated in ASP’s creative youth development program, Shakespeare Inside & Out, which works with youth in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), on probation, or in transition back into society, through ensemble and performance-based Shakespeare and theater projects.
FREE for Guild members
$35 each for non-members or $120 for all four.
The growing strength of the creative youth development movement necessitates that programs, staff, partners, and funders re-think fundamental ways of doing business—program design, staffing, and evaluation to create more active and ongoing roles for young people as critical thinkers, designers, and decision makers. In response to this imperative, the National Guild for Community Arts Education will be presenting a four-part webinar series. The webinar series is chaired by Dennie Palmer Wolf and informed by many voices from the CYD field including: Julia Gittleman, Steven Holochwost, Gladys Hidalgo, Ruth Mercado-Zizzo, James Miles, Käthe Swaback, and others.
You can register for webinars individually below or sign-up for the whole series and save! Across the series participants will build four sets of vital strategies by examining examples from the work of other CYD organizations and reflecting on their own practices.
Webinar 1: Sept. 26 – The Foundations of Creative Youth Development Evaluation
We will begin by exploring the basic principles of creative youth development and their implications for evaluation. From there, we will examine how an organization builds the foundation for doing effective evaluation: developing an organizational story, building a logic model or theory of change, developing powerful infographics, and creating a culture of inquiry that includes young people as full partners. Register for webinar 1 (FREE for members; $35 for non-members) or the full series.
Webinar 2: Oct. 3 – Stepping Up to Survey and Use Observational Data
In this session, we will explore how to design and use surveys and observational protocols, both field-tested tools and new ones tailored to individual programs. As part of this work, we will look at a range of strategies for involving current youth and alumni as critical respondents to and designers of tools. We will discuss the important work of formative assessment: the fine art of using findings to improve programs over time. Register (FREE for members; $35 for non-members)
Webinar 3: Oct. 17 – Thinking through Comparisons
Many evaluations depend on comparing participants to non-participants and looking for the changes that are correlated with being in a program. This kind of correlational work is a major step in thinking about the impacts a program may have – but doing this work well, and understanding its limits can be demanding. Together, we will think through what can – and can’t – be learned through this approach. Register (FREE for members; $35 for non-members)
Webinar 4: Oct. 24 – Partnering for Large-Scale, Quantitative Evaluation
In light of the growing demand for more rigorous evidence – from government and private funders – this final webinar will look at what it takes to conduct quasi-experimental and experimental research into the impact of CYD programs. We will look at the demands such studies place on programs and their staff and consider when programs are ready to take on those demands. We will also explore the kinds of research partnerships that CYD organizations might undertake with external partners in order to learn about and conduct these demanding, but powerful, forms of evaluation. Register (FREE for members; $35 for non-members)
The webinars will be interactive and include: 1) pre-assignments that will alert you to the big ideas, prepare you to examine your own current practices, and allow you to send in questions ahead of time; 2) an exchange of distinctive perspectives from the presenters; and 3) ample time for audience questions.
We encourage programs to support teams of participants in order to sustain the inquiry and conversation between and beyond the individual sessions. All materials will be sent to participants in advance of each session.
This year’s National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference, will feature a dynamic CYD track as part of our comprehensive conference program. This exciting line-up of workshops, site visits, and other opportunities is designed to inspire and inform experienced practitioners and interested newcomers! Creative Youth Development (CYD) integrates the arts, humanities, and sciences with youth development principles, using creativity to build critical skills that help young people realize their full potential. Join us at the Conference for Community Arts Education in the Bay Area this November 15-18 to be on the cutting edge of this crucial work.