What is Creative Youth Development?
Creative Youth Development is a commitment to supporting young people’s stories, ideas, and dreams through creative expression and honoring their lived experience.
In order to create environments that promote Creative Youth Development, these three concepts must be present:
Racial Equity and Social Justice
Shaking up the system to create a space where all people of color feel represented, supported, and cared for.
Creating an even playing field where young people’s needs are understood, their stories are heard, and they are treated as equals.
“We as youth must now be the change that we seek. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”
– Joann Davis, Visual Arts Intern, RYSE Youth Center
Youth speak for themselves and have voices that are valuable.
An adult’s role is to be an ally – not a critic – to value youth’s stories and experiences and ensure youth leadership and decision making within organizations and programs.
“As youth of this city we need to resist. Show adults that we are not what they think we are, speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. We need to flip the script.”
– Isaiah Grant, Video Fellow and Poet, RYSE Youth Center
All voices are essential to supporting racial equity, youth voice, and social justice.
It takes a community to create change, to generate new ideas, and to shake the system.
“Be water. Flood the system.”
– Marques Egan, Youth Leader and Administrative Assistant, RYSE Youth Center
Check out our video showcase for stories of youth experiences in leadership, racial equity and social justice, and collective action in their communities — the core values of Creative Youth Development.
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. These graphic images emerged from these conversations to help guide adult practitioners and spark larger conversations with youth and adults in the field of CYD. The images were created by RYSE Visual Arts AMP (Advanced Media Producer) interns, Tearra Brintley, Chris Collin, Joann Davis, Candice Green, Azaria Kates, Nyree McDaniels, and Hadassah Williams, in collaboration with RYSE Visual Arts Coordinator, Webster Quoc Nguyen.