Americans for the Arts has commissioned field experts to produce a set of seven landscape analyses about key topics within youth development. These papers identify trends in creative youth development, share recommendations for CYD practitioners, and suggest areas for future exploration.
The areas of focus of these papers are:
- Program Development
- Advocacy and Policy
- Working in Social Justice
- Program Evaluation
- Preparing Artists & Educators
- Working with Youth
- Funding, Sustainability, and Partnerships
These landscape analyses are one part of a larger project led by Americans for the Arts to create a new, first-of-its-kind Creative Youth Development Toolkit.
The first landscape analysis to be released is Working with Youth, by Ashley Hare.
Paulo Freire has stated “There is no student who learns and teacher who educates, but a shared power relationship where both who are taught also teach”. Still, young people are the most ignored and yet the most controlled group in our society. So often we adults find ourselves in rooms making decisions on programming and policy we think are best for young people. We make these decisions without their voices, even though they are the ones who will be directly impacted by our choices. But as we are seeing nationally and globally, young people are speaking up to become their own agents of change. They are concerned about their future when we are long gone. They want to be involved now and not when they turn 18 and legally become “an adult”. They are showing us they are not our future leaders, but they are here today. To truly give them the space they are demanding, we must rethink what it means to co-lead with young people. This paper offers practices to consider when implementing youth-driven leadership models in classrooms, afterschool programs, and community spaces.