With the coalescing of the field of Creative Youth Development, numerous studies have concluded certain key aspects of successful out-of-school time arts-based programs. Similar, national programs exist to recognize and advocate for the top-tier of programs. However, the most effective practices have not been studied and the field is currently experiencing a lack of peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and dissemination of tools and resources to aid in the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new ones.
The Creative Youth Development National Partnership will build and release a toolkit which highlights relevant research on the field, determines effective practice, and provides implementable tools and resources to drive forward the field of practice and the policies which support it.
This effort will build upon American’s for the Arts’ immensely successful Youth Arts Toolkit which was published in 1998 and included three local arts agencies as collaborators, two federal partners (National Endowment for the Arts and the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice), a set of private funders, and Americans for the Arts. The Youth Arts Toolkit lives in perpetuity on http://youtharts.artsusa.org/ and has been out of print for over 15 years.
This new Creative Youth Development Toolkit will serve as a unifying resource for numerous members of the arts, education and youth development ecosystems. These stakeholders include: practitioners, funders, program administrators, along with local and state arts, health, education, and safety agencies.
Field research has indicated the following areas of focus for the study, development and distribution of tools and resources:
- Program Development and Design
- Practitioner Training and Preparation
- Working with Young People
- Working in Social Justice
- Funding and Partnerships
- Program Evaluation
- Advocacy and Policy