Amplify Grants Awarded to 15 Youth-Led Community Projects

Youth leaders with Elevated Thought in Lawrence, MAThis year, the Mass Cultural Council awarded 15 Amplify grants totaling $15,000 to projects designed and executed by young people in programs receiving YouthReach or SerHacer funding. Amplify shines a spotlight on the contributions these young people make to their communities by supporting them directly in creating and publicly sharing their work.

See the Amplify projects supported in 2017 and 2016.

Eric Booth on the Potency of Teaching Artistry

Eric BoothOn the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we recently spoke with Eric Booth about the potency of teaching artistry.

Booth, one of the foremost experts in the world on teaching artists, discusses the field and craft of teaching artistry. He says while teaching artists are recognized as learning catalysts – by the education, business, and healthcare sectors (to name a few) – there continue to be insufficient growth pathways to support the expertise that’s been developed by this global workforce.

Listen to the podcast.

Read the transcript.

Check out other podcast episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.

Apply for a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award

Images of NAHYP awarded programs

If your organization is offering outstanding out-of-school-time humanities learning opportunities to young people, you may be eligible for the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. See if your organization is eligible.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities. This award recognizes and supports excellence in programs that open new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement.

How to Apply

Completed applications will only be accepted via the online process.

Application deadline has been extended Until February 13, 9:00PM PST.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards is a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities – in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

CYD Partnership Appoints National Advisory Committee

The Creative Youth Development National Partnership has appointed 11 members to its National Advisory Committee. Additional advisors will be appointed in the coming months. This cross-sector Committee will play a significant strategic role in helping to shape and vet strategic recommendations for how to advance the field of CYD.

We are pleased to announce the following advisors:

  • Nicole Amri, Program Director, SAY Sí, San Antonio, TX
  • Jennifer Cole, Executive Director, Metro Arts, Nashville, TN
  • Sarah Cunningham, Executive Director of Research, School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  • Deb Habib, Executive Director, Seeds of Solidarity, Orange, MA
  • Alex Johnson, Managing Director for Californians for Safety and Justice, Oakland, CA
  • Cristy Johnston Limon, Executive Director, Destiny Arts Center, Oakland, CA
  • Erik Peterson, Vice President, Policy, Afterschool Alliance, Washington, D.C.
  • Kwame Scruggs, Founder and Director of Programs and Training, Alchemy Inc., Akron, OH
  • Lauren Stevenson, Director of Youth Initiatives, Head of Project 1324, Adobe Social Impact, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  • Matt Wilson, Executive Director, MASSCreative, Boston, MA
  • Jason Yoon, Executive Director, Atlas DIY, Brooklyn, NY

See full bios.

Cultural Memory in Youth Creativity and Hip Hop

Dr. Bettina Love is an author and associate professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia. She presented at the National Guild’s 2016 Conference for Community Arts Education. In this clip, she discusses developing arts programming around the intrinsic creativity of youth:

New META Fellowships Provide Professional Development for Mass Teaching Artists

Eric Booth leads learning session for more than 40 Massachusetts teaching artists on October 13, 2016 at the META Fellowship launch at Boston’s Symphony Hall.The Mass Cultural Council and Klarman Family Foundation have launched a new program to help teaching artists improve the quality of their work with youth in schools and community settings across Massachusetts.

The Music Educators and Teaching Artists (META) Fellowship Pilot Program meets a growing need for high-quality, professional teaching in programs that employ the principles of creative youth development. With an initial focus on music, this two-year fellowship will help teaching artists develop the skills, relationships, and experiences they need to improve their practice. In turn, these artist educators will be better equipped to help their students grow as musicians and develop the cognitive and life skills they will need to thrive as adults.

“This project is a game changer. It is powerful and unique in a number of ways,” says Eric Booth, author and international authority on teaching artistry. “This can serve as a model for the rest of the country.”

Read more.

Drumming & Myth: Healing Urban Youth Through Alchemy

Still from FINDING THE GOLD WITHIN, by Karina EpperleinAlchemy is a nonprofit organization in Akron, OH that provides a safe environment and sense of community to assist in the development of urban adolescents through the telling, discussion, and interpretation of mythological stories and fairy tales told to the beat of an African drum.

Since 2003, Alchemy has worked with over 2,000 male youth in its creative youth development programs. In 2012, they received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities.

“Myths speak to archetypal situations, universal dilemmas,” said Kwame Scruggs, Executive Director of Alchemy, Inc. And, embedded in myths are guides to behavior that he believes can help counter some of the destructive images of masculinity that have taken root in some aspects of urban culture.

For the seven years that I have been in Alchemy, It has helped me grow from a boy to a man. The mythological stories we read and hear you can relate to everyday life. It helps you become a better decision maker to help you through hard times. It also connects you with other black males where I learn about their problems and we are able to help each other overcome obstacles. Alchemy is a great group of loyalty and brotherhood. – Marlon, Alchemy participant

I come, I listen, I share or say what I gotta say. I feel more open, because nothing leaves the circle. I’m something like a son, well, we all can say we are. But with no father figure in my life it seems like I had one when I come here and a lot of brothers so it taught me how to bond with people. So I come because it’s Alchemy. Love Kwame like a father.” – Dionte, Alchemy participant

Although personal development, rather than academic achievement, is the program’s chief goal, Alchemy’s techniques are also promoting academic success. Twenty-four of 28 members of its “first class” graduated from high school and went on to college. (And, of those 24 who enrolled in college, nine Alchemy alums have already graduated with their college degrees with 6 more alum on track to graduate by June 2018.)

In Finding the Gold Within, a feature-length documentary by Karina Epperlein, follow six young African American men, alumni of Alchemy’s program, as they enter college, determined to redefine society’s images and low expectations of them:

CYD Partners Host Briefing in Washington, D.C.

Megan Beyer, Executive Director of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), welcomes attendees of the briefing organized by the CYD National Partnership and hosted by PCAH in Washington, D.C.
Megan Beyer, Executive Director of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), welcomes attendees of the briefing organized by the CYD National Partnership and hosted by PCAH in Washington, D.C.

Over 30 representatives from federal agencies and national organizations attended the Creative Youth Development National Partnership’s briefing on the CYD field and Partnership on September 19 in Washington, D.C. Cross-sector partnership is vital to our efforts to build access and opportunities for young people to participate in CYD programs across the country. We are grateful for the rich dialogue and the advice and information shared by briefing participants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Afterschool Alliance, U.S. Department of Justice, and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Discussion on common areas of interest ranged from community development, connected learning, exposure of youth to violence and trauma, research on breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, heightened interest in social and emotional learning, equity and social justice, pathways to higher education, and potential areas of collaboration. The Partnership will continue to forge ties across sectors as a core strategy to increasing access for young people to quality CYD programs nationwide.

Join the CYD Program Database

As part of the newly announced CYD National Partnership, programs and practitioners are encouraged to register their work in the CYD Program Database as administered by Animating Democracy. By registering in the database, you will be first to know about upcoming opportunities to engage in research, communications, and convening. Particularly, we will be issuing a field survey and call for effective practices in CYD in the coming months. Don’t miss out. Register Now.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article Published on Rise of CYD

Arts Education Policy Review coverA new article, “The Rise of Creative Youth Development,” was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Arts Education Policy Review (June 2016). Written by Denise Montgomery, Director of the Creative Youth Development National Initiative, this article describes core characteristics of creative youth development (CYD) programs and provides background on the origins and history of the field, including current advances and signs the field is coalescing. The article also describes CYD in the larger contexts of arts education and of education reform, and discusses policy, funding, and research needs and opportunities.

Download the article (PDF). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Arts Education Policy Review on June 16, 2016.