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:
Advocacy and Policy
Working in Social Justice
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.
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.
Music Learning as Youth Development, a new book published in June of 2019, highlights the role of community based Creative Youth Development organizations as catalysts and trailblazers for bringing youth development practices into all areas of music learning.
Utilizing case studies and stories from organizations around the world, the evolution and impact of CYD is traced alongside the development of the youth development field. Looking forward, this book is an important step in moving youth development into the center of music learning in schools, community based settings, higher education and professional performance settings.
Erik Holmgren of Mass Cultural Council authored a chapter called, “Changing the Ecology of Music Learning: Lessons from Creative Youth Development,” and the book was edited by Larry Scripp of the New England Conservatory and Brian Kaufmann from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Afterschool Matters is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in afterschool education. Published by the National Institute on Out-of-School-Time (NIOST) with legacy support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, Afterschool Matters serves practitioners who work with youth in out-of-school time (OST) programs, as well as researchers and policymakers in youth development. They are seeking articles for future issues, beginning with Spring 2020. Scholarly or practice-based work on all aspects of OST programming for children and youth, from a variety of disciplines and academic perspectives, will be considered.
A 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.
In conjunction with National Arts Education week this week, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) is hosting a weeklong blog salon dedicated to exploring important next steps for the emerging creative youth development sector. Throughout the week AFTA’s Arts Education blog will highlight issues related to research, programming, evaluation, funding, and advocacy, and will explore the insights and puzzles presented from leading voices in the field.
Follow the conversation throughout the week and contribute your thoughts via AFTA’s blog or on Twitter (using the hashtag #creativeyouthdevelopment).
New Research Sets Stage for Boston Summit to Advance Emerging Field of Creative Youth Development
Out-of-school programs that develop the creative capacities of young people are uniquely positioned to drive civic and social progress in their communities, according to new research. The research report, “Setting the Agenda,” is drawn from surveys of more than 150 youth arts, humanities, and science programs nationwide.
“Today, youth are increasingly becoming disconnected from their communities and the means to make a successful transition to adulthood,” the report states. “At the same time, creativity is growing in its importance to addressing changing economic, social, technological, and environmental challenges. In this context, creative youth development programs are an asset, and supporting and increasing their impact is of great importance.”