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Guild Will Co-Host National Summit on Creative Youth Development

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Nov 21, 2013
New York, NY

The National Guild, Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities will co-host the National Summit on Creative Youth Development: Unite. Celebrate. Activate. March 27- 29, 2014 in Boston’s Fenway Cultural District. The summit will convene approximately 200 leaders from across the nation working at the intersection of arts, culture, and youth development to celebrate the field’s progress and success to date, to document the impact of the work on the lives of young people, and to chart a policy and advocacy agenda for the next decade.

Participants will be diverse practitioners working in both traditional art forms and new media, seasoned professionals and emerging leaders. Plenary sessions will be simulcast via the web, and virtual attendees can participate in deliberations via social media. Summit attendees will also attend a live taping of the acclaimed NPR program From the Top in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall.

Ahead of the national summit, MCC has commissioned Dr. Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting in California to gather input from practitioners, policy-makers, young people and other key leaders on the progress and needs of the field with a goal of highlighting what policies are needed to drive the work of the field forward. Findings will be used to shape the agenda of the summit.

“Meaningful engagement in arts and culture can foster not only young people’s creative skills, but also development of identity, self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and other important life skills,” said National Guild Executive Director Jonathan Herman. “We hope the summit will be a stepping stone to uniting the creative youth development field and shining light on the value and positive impact of its work on youth and society.”

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
Leading up to the National Summit, MCC will be holding regional celebrations throughout Massachusetts to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its YouthReach Initiative. The goal is that these events culminate in a national agenda to propel the field of creative youth development into the next decade. Today, MCC also launched a new blog, Seen & Heard, telling stories of young lives transformed through creativity and of the skilled practitioners who made those stories possible. 

For 20 years MCC has supported out-of-school arts, humanities, and science programs for adolescents at risk of not making the successful transition to adulthood through its investment in the YouthReach Initiative. Its work has demonstrated the power of creativity to transform the lives of our most vulnerable young people, making YouthReach a model for states and communities across the nation. The national partnership organized around the summit is designed to accelerate and elevate this work and ensure that arts, culture and creativity are at the center of efforts to improve the fortunes of at-risk youth.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. MCC is a state agency committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. It pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists. MCC receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Learn more at

About the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Created in 1982 by Executive Order, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. The PCAH works directly with the Administration and the three primary cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—as well as other federal partners and the private sector, to address policy questions in the arts and humanities, to initiate and support key programs in those disciplines, and to recognize excellence in the field. Its core areas of focus are arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and community revitalization. Mrs. Michelle Obama, like other first ladies before her, serves as honorary chairman of the committee, which is composed of both private and public members. For more information, visit:



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