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Home > About > News and Events > News > Guild News > Guild Awarded $100,000 NEA Grant for Creative Youth Development

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Guild Awarded $100,000 NEA Grant for Creative Youth Development

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May 12, 2016

The National Guild for Community Arts Education, on behalf of a coalition of national partners, has been awarded an NEA Art Works grant for $100,000. The award will support a collective impact initiative and the creation of the first-ever blueprint to advance creative youth development (CYD).

The funds are part of more than $82 million granted in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. “The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from the National Guild for Community Arts Education and its CYD partners offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

Creative youth development is a new term that brings together a longstanding community of practice that intentionally integrates the arts, humanities, and sciences with youth development principles, sparking young people’s creativity and building critical learning and life skills. Representatives of the field met in 2014 to form its first-ever national policy and advocacy agenda and charged a national partnership to oversee implementation. Current partners include the National Guild (which serves as a backbone organization), Americans for the Arts, the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. The blueprint project will engage additional cross-sector organizations, cultivating partners from the youth development field.


“This Art Works award is a huge honor, and a recognition of the dedicated organizations across the country offering CYD programs that support young people in developing creative skills and becoming active members of their communities,” said Jonathan Herman, executive director of the National Guild. “Our national partnership hopes to organize this field, maximize its social impact, and produce a structure to inspire more organizations to develop programs that unleash the creative potential of youth.”

Building on the 2014 national agenda, the CYD blueprint will establish strategic goals to strengthen cross-sector development of the field. Leveraging their national assets, partner organizations will connect to local communities and nonprofits to collect data, implement needs assessments, and gather catalytic case stories of youth development through creative learning. Through this research and a two-day national meeting of cross-sector stakeholders, the blueprint will be created to provide shared frameworks, data, and specific actions for advancing creative youth development and strengthening cross-sector partnerships among local and national organizations.

The National Guild’s Art Works grant runs from June 2016-December 2017. The blueprint project will be guided by the partners and a national advisory committee, a working group comprised of representatives from the arts, humanities, and youth development sectors.


This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.