The Heinz Endowments Launch Creative Learning Funding

Three young men standing together outside on a city sidewalk singing and playing a guitar

The Heinz Endowments’ Creative Learning initiative is a cross-sector strategy to cultivate an equitable creative arts and cultural learning network, improve access to transformative learning experiences for young people, and support meaningful professional opportunities for teaching artists in Pittsburgh’s out-of-school-time (OST) ecosystem. For the purpose of this initiative, creative learning will be defined as high-quality arts education in OST settings, with equitable access for the social, emotional and creative development of children and youth.

The Endowments aims to support the work of existing and new grantees in this space; improve their effectiveness toward meeting their goals; and create a more powerful network of programs, organizations and teaching artists. Creative Learning grantees will go beyond arts exposure to inspire deeper, generative, transformational and participatory learning for young people with an emphasis on racial equity in the learning ecosystem.

The Endowments’ core strategies for this work are:

    • Support intermediary organizations that advance the development of an equitable creative learning network for providers, teaching artists, and young people.
    • Support provider organizations that work directly with young people.
    • Support teaching artist field-building and professional development.
    • Support young artists.
    • Center equity in terms of race, resources and reach.

The Endowments developed this initiative through a diligent process that engaged OST provider organizations, teaching artists, researchers, practitioners and funding colleagues for more than two years. The 2019 Creative Learning in Pittsburgh report from the University of Pittsburgh summarizes their process and findings, and serves as a starting point for our current initiative.

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