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Home > About > News and Events > News > Guild News > New Report Set Stage for Creative Youth Development Summit

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New Report Set Stage for Creative Youth Development Summit

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Mar 18, 2014

According to a new research report, Setting the Agenda, out-of-school programs that develop the creative capacities of young people are uniquely positioned to drive civic and social progress in their communities.

"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."

Setting the Agenda was commissioned in advance of the National Summit on Creative Youth Development by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and National Guild. The organizations are partners in presenting the Summit, which takes place in Boston March 27-29. The research was conducted by Dr. Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting in Oakland, CA.

The report states, youth programs grounded in creative expression "bring the tools of the arts, humanities, sciences, and youth leadership to bear to facilitate community development---improving the safety and physical and cultural contexts of the communities they serve---and foster civic engagement. By contributing to social change and community development and increasing society's creative capacity, they are creating ripple effects that extend their impact more widely."

To have greater impact, however, the report recommends that creative youth development leaders: 
  • Align their work more closely with broader community development and youth development efforts.
  • Seek new funding structures, systems, and streams.
  • Establish a new entity or entities to advance the field's strategic objectives at the state and national levels.
  • Join cross-sector collaborations at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Focus greater attention on "opportunity youth"---ages 16-24-who are disconnected from their communities and educational and career opportunities.

These recommendations were the foundation for work at the National Summit, which took place at multiple venues in Boston, March 27-29. At the Summit, participants organized into five caucuses, each charged with refining the imperative and agenda for one of these five planks. The Summit marked a coming of age for the field of creative youth development. Knowledge about this work is growing, and a national community of practice is emerging. Efforts to build the field, however, are nascent and decentralized.
Pictured Above: Big Thought (Dallas, TX)

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