Creative youth development is a recent term for a longstanding theory of practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles, fueling young people’s imaginations and building critical learning and life skills.
Decades of engaging young people in skills and personal development through creative practice have laid the foundation for this moment in time in the CYD movement (Read: “The Rise of Creative Youth Development”). Teaching artists and programs have refined their practices over time and continue to forge new territory, including via partnerships and cross-sector collaboration.
The CYD National Partnership—comprised of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Mass Cultural Council, and Americans for the Arts—formed to organize and accelerate cross-sector advancement of CYD as a field of practice and oversee the implementation of the 2014 policy agenda, Collective Action for Youth. Building on this agenda, as well as research and input from hundreds of stakeholders—youth, practitioners, researchers, funders, and stakeholders from allied youth sectors—the Partnership developed the National Action Blueprint (2018) to prioritize actionable strategies in three strategic areas: Visibility & Impact, Funding, and Field-Building.
Our goal is to drive collective action to advance the role of creativity in positive youth development.