Growing the Field

Growing the Field

The Need    

Too many young people are disconnected from their communities and lack the means to make successful transitions to adulthood.* They also face rapidly changing economic, social, technological, and environmental challenges that call for innovative solutions. Given opportunities to develop their creative potential, young people will live richer, fuller lives and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities.

Across the country, hundreds of creative youth development programs are setting high expectations for young people, encouraging positive risk taking, promoting leadership development, fostering relationships with adult mentors and peers, and offering real-world opportunities to contribute to social change.

National Summit on Creative Youth Development     

To capitalize on the work of creative youth development programs nationwide and the impact they have on students, families, and communities, more than 200 leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, and youth gathered in Boston for the National Summit on Creative Youth Development, March 27–29, 2014. The summit was presented by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in partnership with the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

The delegates’ work was informed by a national research study that included in-depth interviews with a range of practitioners and policymakers in related fields, focus groups with youth, and a national survey of practitioners and young people from more than 150 creative youth development programs.

The overriding focus of the gathering was collective action: capitalizing on strong partnerships and focused advocacy to effect large-scale change on complex social issues. The summit produced the following agenda to implement at the local, state, and national levels.

*The White House Council for Community Solutions, 2012: Final Report: Community Solutions for Opportunity Youth. Washington, DC: Corporation for National and Community Service.

Policy and Advocacy Agenda
Current Activities