This piece originally appeared in the GuildNotes, Issue 1, 2021
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).
Creative Youth Development National Partnership to Receive $50,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Guild for Community Arts Education has been approved for a $50,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. This project will foster systemic change through robust programs for young artists that prioritize youth leadership and voice, and are rooted in racial equity, social justice, and collective action. The CYD National Partnership’s project is among 1,073 projects across America, totaling nearly $25 million, that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.
“We are excited to continue supporting the growth of CYD Peer Networks in Austin, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan,” said Ashley Hare, the Guild’s Director of Leadership Development. “The pandemic last year was unexpected, but gave us more time together to recenter around the values of CYD, and ensure authentic relationship-building between youth and adult practitioners.”
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.
Two timely ways youth leaders can get involved with Creative Youth Development:
Join the National Young Artists Summit 2021 Planning Committee
Help us plan, coordinate, and co-facilitate the 2021 National Young Artists Summit, to be held virtually on October 16, 2021. Working with a group of youth from across the country committee members design a full-day Summit, providing opportunities for youth leaders, ages 15-20, from a range of artistic disciplines, to connect, create, and celebrate.
Be a Part of the National Youth Network
Through the National Youth Network young artists ages 13-24 from all across the United States come together to artistically explore different art forms, challenges and opportunities to thrive together.
For more information, email Paula Ortega, National Youth Coordinator.
The Lewis Prize for Music is conducting a CYD community response survey to collect information about the larger field’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing injustices of systemic racism that the pandemic has only laid more bare. The Lewis Prize for Music wants to elevate nationally the critical work that CYD organizations are doing to create a more just society. All information shared in the survey will be reported back to the field in a summative fashion and activated toward the goal of increasing resources for the CYD field at large. Please only complete the survey once per organization.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2019, the CYD National Partnership’s Field Building Action Team conducted interviews across the nation to understand the growth of peer learning networks—focused fully or in part on CYD—that are emerging across the country. The results were compiled in a brief written for the CYD National Partnership by Ellen Hirzy in January 2020:
Peer learning networks promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas, and promising practices among professionals. Whether formal or informal, they give people a chance to know others who are engaged in similar work with similar challenges. Close interaction with peers can be difficult to find in the nonprofit world, especially for those working in smaller organizations with limited resources. The mutual encouragement and professional growth that happens over time through a peer network can make a profound difference in individuals and their organizations, and ultimately in the youth they serve.
Looking at the broader picture, as peer networks proliferate, collectively they will help to advance the creative youth development field as a whole, including the growth of cross-sector collaboration. This paper describes the benefits of CYD peer learning networks, their structure and function, challenges they face, and attributes that contribute to success. Designed as a reference tool for practitioners, funders, and key stakeholders, it is based on interviews the CYD National Partnership conducted with 11 emergent and sustaining networks around the country. Short profiles of several networks illustrate the diversity and potential of peer learning as a catalyst to creative youth development.