Webinar on Creating a Collaborative Database for the CYD Field

Tuesday, October 2, 2:30-4:00pm EST
Join Kathe Swaback from Raw Arts and Julia Gittleman from Boston’s Youth Arts Impact Network for an overview of the findings from the report Creating a Collaborative CRM for the CYD Field. Participants will learn about the background, research and next steps for the project that will be of interest to any CYD organization looking to improve their data management systems. Please email lin@edvestors.org to register.

Artist as Instigator: Join ITAC4’s Digital Conference September 13-15, 2018

The Fourth International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC4) will be held in the U.S. for the first time in New York City September 13-15, 2018. [Previous conferences were held in Oslo (2012), Brisbane (2014), and Edinburgh (2016).] While the in-person conference is sold out, teaching artists are encouraged to attend digitally.

Digital conference goers will be able to participate online through a live stream of plenary sessions, curated interviews and conversations, along with access to special web-only content. Learn More.

All of the online sessions will be archived on the ITAC website.

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week: September 9-15, 2018

National Arts in Education Week is a Congressionally-designated celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. The field of arts education annually joins together to bring visibility to the cause, unify stakeholders with a shared message, and provide the tools and resources for local leaders to advance arts education in their communities. Find many ways to celebrate the week alongside 750+ other communities by visiting www.NationalArtsInEducationWeek.org for more information. Are you in for the celebration? If so, please fill out this form.

Putting the CYD National Action Blueprint to Work

June 19,  2018 12 – 1pm ET

Free and open to public; pre-registration required
REGISTER

Learn how you can use the recently released Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Action Blueprint as a resource in your work to advance the role of creativity in youth development. Led by the CYD National Partnership and a cross-sector coalition, this one-hour, interactive forum is designed for CYD practitioners and alumni, funders, researchers, and allied youth sector leaders.

During the forum, we will discuss:

  1. The CYD National Movement and Blueprint goals
  2. How CYD aligns with the priorities of allied youth sectors, including education, juvenile justice, and afterschool
  3. Recommendations for advancing CYD in three strategic priority areas
    VISIBILITY & IMPACT: Documenting and Communicating Outcomes and Impact
    FUNDING: Expanding Pathways to Funding
    FIELD BUILDING: Professional Development, Networking, and Technical Assistance
  4. Opportunities to get involved

Read the Creative Youth Development National Action Blueprint and subscribe to the CYD Partnership email list to receive regular updates on creative youth development (CYD) news, opportunities, and resources.

Creative youth development is a long-standing, intentional practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles. In these programs, young people create original work—including animated films, 3-D printed sculptures, dance and theater productions, musical compositions, curated book collections, and more—and apply their creative skills to solve problems, shape their lives, and imagine and build the world in which they want to live.

Cross-Sector Coalition Releases Recommendations to Advance the Role of Creativity in Youth Development

Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Blueprint outlines strategies for positive change

Detroit, Michigan - Mosaic Singers in concert. The Mosaic Singers are part of Mosaic Youth Theatre, which provides free, professional quality theater and music training for teenagers in the Detroit area. Copyright Jim West.
Mosaic Singers of Detroit, MI in concert. Photo copyright Jim West.

The Creative Youth Development National Partnership, in concert with more than 650 cross-sector stakeholders nationally, is calling for all young people to have equitable access to opportunities to: realize their creative potential;  live richer, fuller lives; and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities.

Read the Creative Youth Development National Blueprint and subscribe to the CYD Partnership eNews to receive regular updates on creative youth development (CYD) news, opportunities, and resources. The CYD National Partnership will host an online forum in May to discuss the Blueprint’s three strategic priority areas.

Creative youth development is a long-standing practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles. In these programs, young people create original work—including animated films, 3-D printed sculptures, dance and theater productions, musical compositions, curated book collections, and more—and apply their creative skills to solve problems, shape their lives, and imagine and build the world in which they want to live.

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the CYD National Partnership—which includes the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Americans for the Arts, the Mass Cultural Council, and formerly the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities—gathered input on strategies to expand the reach and impact of CYD through numerous community conversations throughout the country over an 18-month period.

The resulting Creative Youth Development National Blueprint identifies three strategic priorities for advancing CYD:

  • VISIBILITY & IMPACT: Documenting and Communicating Outcomes and Impact
  • FUNDING: Expanding Pathways to Funding
  • FIELD BUILDING: Professional Development, Networking, and Technical Assistance

Woven throughout the Blueprint are core values of the CYD coalition: racial equity and social justice, youth voice, and collective action. Read the Executive Summary.

“Creative youth development has the unique potential to deepen and sustain youth engagement by providing opportunities for youth to develop their creative potential, amplify their voices, and build leadership skills,” said Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. “For many youth, CYD programs also can be a pathway to other services such as college and career readiness, mental health services, academic support, and more.”

Participants in this national movement include youth, practitioners, researchers, funders, policy makers, and other stakeholders in creative youth development and allied sectors. The Partnership also commissioned research by the Forum for Youth Investment that mapped opportunities for alignment, e.g. developing social emotional competence; promoting healthy decision making/behaviors; and reengaging young people in positive learning and work environments, among CYD and allied youth sectors, including afterschool, juvenile justice, mental health, education, and workforce development. Three cross-sector Action Teams were then formed to analyze and distill the research and stakeholder inputs and make final recommendations for the Blueprint.

“Providing today’s youth with the skills they need to lead fulfilling lives across all economic, social, and family circumstances is a large-scale undertaking,” said Erik Peterson, Vice President of Policy, Afterschool Alliance. “To do this urgent work effectively, we must work together to share lessons learned, networks, and resources.”

The Blueprint will evolve as implementation unfolds and will be updated online to reflect progress toward goals.

The Creative Youth Development National Partnership aims to ensure that creative youth development is a broadly-implemented, well-researched, and equitably-funded practice and available to all youth so that they may realize their full potential and thrive.

CYD National Partners include:

The National Guild for Community Arts Education, which ensures all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education. www.nationalguild.org

Americans for the Arts, which serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. www.americansforthearts.org

Mass Cultural Council, a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences in order to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. Over the past 20 years, Mass Cultural Council has invested more than $10 million in creative youth development, resulting in a vibrant community of programs. www.massculturalcouncil.org

Register for CYD Preconference at AFTA’s 2018 Annual Convention

Americans for the Arts 2018 Annual Convention graphicAll young people deserve to have equitable opportunities to reach their creative potential, live richer and fuller lives, and develop the critical life skills they need to become active contributors in their communities.

On June 14-15, join your peers from diverse communities across country for Americans for the Art’s Creative Youth Development Preconference and explore new paths forward for arts education during out-of-school time.

Creative Youth Development unifies a longstanding community of practice integrating the arts, humanities, and sciences with youth development principles, sparking young people’s creativity and building critical learning and life skills. At this hands-on workshop in Denver, CO, hear from inspiring youth leaders, adult practitioners, and dive deep into case studies on a range of topics from program development and evaluation to financial models of sustainability.

Sessions will cover:

Register Now

In Conversation: Lynn Stanley and Elizabeth Pickard

Lynn Stanley and Elizabeth Pickard

Mass Cultural Council’s Erik Holmgren invited Elizabeth Pickard from the Missouri History Museum and Lynn Stanley, Curator of Education for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum to discuss their respective institutions as a place for connecting the story of themselves, the story of their communities, and the story of now. Listen to how their own stories brought them into the museum field and how they strive to ‘lift the veil’ between their institutions and the lived experience of young people in their communities.

Hear the recording by selecting the player above, or read the transcript.

How CYD Aligns with Allied Youth Sectors

In the process of developing the Creative Youth Development National Action Blueprint, the CYD National Partnership commissioned research by the Forum for Youth Investment that maps opportunities for alignment between CYD and allied youth sectors, such as education and juvenile justice. The table they developed identifies the various points of alignment among CYD and adjacent sectors also working toward positive outcomes for youth, states levers for connection, and lists driving frameworks guiding philanthropy, policy & practice in the various systems and settings.

CYD Alignment with Allied Youth Sectors

Graphic showing CYD Alignment with Allied Youth Sectors

 

For additional discussion of working cross-sector, see this piece by Cynthia Campoy-Brophy.

BYAEP’s Framework and Theory of Change

To encapsulate the positive outcomes that occur for young people who participate in CYD programs, the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP), a partnership of practitioners, program evaluators, and funders, developed the following theory of change, Framework for Outcomes in Youth Arts Programs (2012):

BYAEP's Framework for Outcomes in Youth Arts Programs_framework

The BYAEP theory of change posits that:

  • If youth participate in high-quality arts programs, they will develop specific skills and competencies (I Create, I Am, We Connect),
  • which, in turn, leads to a set of intermediate outcomes (able to engage and be productive, to navigate, and to make connections with others),
  • which in turn leads to a set of long-term outcomes (resiliency, self-efficacy and personal fulfillment, and community engagement) that together constitute life success.

The BYAEP framework is consistent with other models of a theory of change for CYD, for example Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s Excellence on Stage and in Life: The Mosaic Model for Youth Development Through the Arts, which categorizes the key outcome areas of its CYD program as Skills, Self, and Society. Skills in the Mosaic Model includes what BYAEP calls I Create; Mosaic’s Self relates to BYAEP’s I Am; and Society in the Mosaic Model is akin to We Connect in the BYAEP framework. These theories of change reflect thoughtful deliberation of high quality CYD programs and how they support positive outcomes for young people.

There are Not Enough CYD Programs

Many youth participants in CYD programs attest that their involvement changed the trajectory of their lives. Additionally, numerous young people state that participation in a CYD program effectively saved their lives. However, there are not enough CYD programs to meet the needs and interests of young people in our communities. While creative youth development is on the rise, not every community has CYD opportunities for young people. And some outstanding programs have waiting lists of young people who never have a chance to participate because demand exceeds the number of openings.

The Afterschool Alliance documents unmet demand for afterschool programs in its report America After 3PM: Afterschool Programs in Demand (2014).

Key findings include:

  • “Although sizeable gains have been made in afterschool program quality and participation, the unmet demand for afterschool programs continues to rise.”
  • “Despite the growing call for afterschool programs, $4 billion in local grant requests have been denied due to insufficient federal funds and an increasing number of requests over the last 10 years.”
  • “Parents of 18.5 million children (38 percent) not currently participating in afterschool programs say they would enroll their children if a program were available to them.”

Clearly there is unmet demand among youth and families for high quality afterschool programs. So how do we know that there is unmet demand for CYD programs, specifically?

The Search Institute has conducted substantial research in the area of young people’s deep interests and passions, or their sparks, with compelling results about young people’s interest in creative pursuits.

Creative arts was the number one interest area cited by U.S. teens aged 12-17 among the top 10 sparks categories. In fact, creative arts was cited by 54% of teens, more than twice as often as the number two category, athletics, which was named by 25% of teens surveyed (Benson, 2008).

“…creative life…art, music, drama, dance, movement is the largest category in which sparks fall for America’s kids…that’s the area in which the most kids say, ‘I’m my best self.’ It’s the arena in which most kids will say “ is where life is the fullest and most hopeful.” (Benson, 2011)

Young people are clearly interested in opportunities for creative skill building, inquiry, and expression, which is at the heart of CYD. So policymakers, funders, youth developers, community leaders and others who value supporting young people in identifying and cultivating their sparks, or personal passions, should support increasing access to and investment in CYD. High-quality creative youth development programs are essential pathways for young people to thrive.