Amplify, Mass Cultural Council’s grant program created to support youth led and designed projects, is starting to bear fruit, the first of which was the wonderful Pop-Up Parasol exhibit by Youth Mentor Rachel at Express Yourself (EXYO).
Originally conceived as a smaller project involving 20 hand-painted parasols to be on public display at Cumming Center, the idea took hold and blossomed due to the leadership of Rachel, an EXYO mentor, who empowered by the Amplify grant took it upon herself to fundraise and manage the entire project, recruiting peers and participants from EXYO and eventually more than tripling the original project scope. The parasols were displayed in a 70 foot long installation which opened on April 26, bringing color to a cold spring afternoon in Beverly.
This week the Mass Cultural Council launched the first state initiative in the U.S. to bring music education to underserved youth through programs inspired by El Sistema.
SerHacer (To Make, To Be) will provide pilot grants, musical instruments, and technical support to nine youth music programs across Massachusetts. Led by local schools and social service providers, each program employs teaching and learning models based on El Sistema, which has lifted thousands of poor, disenfranchised children out of poverty through intensive musical training and social support in Venezuela, Argentina, & elsewhere. SerHacer will also fund new research to advance studies that show how making music helps children develop essential executive functioning skills such as focus, planning, and problem-solving. Continue reading
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.”
Read Report. (PDF)