Adultism and Its Impact on Youth and Adult Spaces

This piece originally appeared in the GuildNotes, Issue 1, 2021

Panelists for the discussion on adultism. Clockwise from top left: Tanykia “Diamond” Davis, Paula Ortega, Quinn Pursell, Sam Marcial, Mario Pauldon, and Brianna Bryant.

Community arts educators cannot authentically amplify youth voice and leadership without intentionally working to dismantle adultism in their programs, organizations, and collective action efforts. Adultism is the systematic mistreatment and disrespect of young people which in turn disregards their power and rights as full human-beings.

Too often, young people are shut out of or erased from policy and programming conversations and decision-making processes that directly affect their lives. Young people not only need a “seat at the table,” they need the holistic support of adult accomplices to create their own tables. In December 2020, young artists from the Creative Youth Development Partnership’s National Youth Network and Detroit’s CYD local network presented “Adultism,” a youth panel discussion on adultism and its impact on youth and adult spaces. The panel was organized by Paula Ortega, the Partnership’s National Youth Coordinator and core team member of Re:Frame Youth Arts Center (Phoenix), and Tanykia “Diamond” Davis, youth representative for the Detroit CYD Network and Living Arts (Detroit). They were joined in conversation by Mario Pauldon, poet and vocalist (Illinois); Sam Marcial, poet and dancer (California), Quinn Pursell, theatre artist (Arizona); and Brianna Bryant, engineer and applied artist (Michigan).
Continue reading “Adultism and Its Impact on Youth and Adult Spaces”

Youth Leaders Develop Graphics to Emphasize CYD Values

Young artists and activists from RYSE Youth Center (Richmond, CA) and youth leaders from Re:Frame Youth Arts Center (Phoenix, AZ) held a series of conversations to discuss Creative Youth Development (CYD) from 2019-2020. They met over video calls to discuss how they define CYD values, what CYD looks like in practice, and their expectations of adult partners in CYD spaces. A series of graphics emerged from these conversations to help guide adult practitioners and spark larger conversations with youth and adults in the field of CYD.

More about What is CYD?

The text within this graphic are repeated in the What is CYD? page's body text.


Zion’s Story

artworxLA is a non-profit organization combating the high school dropout crisis by creatively engaging alternative education high school students. In this short film, filmmaker Rich Lee and his partner Louise Baker Lee spent an entire day with Zion, learning about his creative process, his life, his neighborhood, and the impact artworxLA has had on his life.

Deep Center’s After-School Workshops Foster Young Authors in Savannah, Georgia

Left: André Massey, Jr., age 14, talks on behalf of the 2015 NAHYP Awardee, Young Author Project. Photo credit: Steven E. Purcell. Right: Ellexus Hicks reads from an anthology of students’ creative writing at a Deep Speaks event. Photo: Bill Durrence.“Your story is enough, and it matters. So tell it, and tell it well.”

Since 2008, the Deep Center has given youth in Savannah, Georgia the tools and encouragement to write with skill, confidence, and courage. Recognizing that students with poor literacy skills are more likely to drop out, Deep brings free and fun after-school writing instruction to youth in some of the city’s low-performing middle schools. Through instruction, discussion, one-on-one mentoring, and writing exercises, dedicated volunteer Writing Fellows work with students to develop fundamental writing skills and creative self-expression once a week for 11 weeks.  Continue reading “Deep Center’s After-School Workshops Foster Young Authors in Savannah, Georgia”

Armory’s Art High Provides High-End Instruction and Life Skills

Art High Apprentices and Mentors at Work. Art High, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awardee. Photos: Armory Center for the Arts.With a firm belief that “arts and arts education are essential components of a well-rounded human experience and a civil community,” the Armory Center for the Arts launched in 2006 an ambitious program called Art High. Its goal: Make out-of-school arts instruction more accessible to the young people of Pasadena, California by providing free year-round classes and mentorship opportunities at parks, schools, and community centers. Continue reading “Armory’s Art High Provides High-End Instruction and Life Skills”

Native Youth Thrive in Tribal Youth Ambassadors Program

Jayden Lim, age 15, speaks on behalf of 2016 NAHYP Awardee, Tribal Youth Ambassadors. Photo credit: Steven E. Purcell.

We are Indian and we are proud. We still sing. We still laugh. We still dream. We still stand. – Jayden Lim

At the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award’s White House ceremony, which honors programs that are national models in the field of creative youth development, Jayden Lim was the youth speaker on behalf of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center. Continue reading “Native Youth Thrive in Tribal Youth Ambassadors Program”

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.