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Touchstones and Resources for Creative Youth Development

Key pieces of research and developments that represent pivotal moments in time or big leaps forward for youth arts and creative youth development

Theoretical Underpinnings

Art as Experience. John Dewey. 1934.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Paulo Freire, translated into English by Myra Ramos. 1970.


Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiples Intelligences by Howard Gardner. First published in 1983, updated in 2011.


Safe Havens: Portraits of Educational Effectiveness in Community Art Centers that Focus on Education in Economically Disadvantaged Communities. Project Co-Arts, Harvard Project Zero. Jessica Davis, Howard Gardner, and Elisabeth Soep. 1993.

Coming Up Taller: Arts and Humanities for Children and Youth At Risk. President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities. 1996.

40 Developmental for Adolescents. Search Institute. 1997, 2007.

“Living the Arts Through Language-Learning: A Report on Community-Based Youth Organizations.” Shirley Brice Heath, Elisabeth Soep, and Adelma Roach. Americans for the Arts Monographs, 2. 1998.

YouthArts Toolkit. Americans for the Arts. 1998.

“Youth Development and Arts in the Nonschool Hours.” Grantmakers in the Arts Newsletter 9, no. 1 Spring 1998.

“ArtShow: Youth and Community Development.” Shirley Brice Heath and Laura Smyth. Patners for Livable Communities.1999.

“Imaginative Actuality: Learning in the Arts in the Nonschool Hours.” Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, ed. by Edward B. Fiske. Shirley Brice Heath and Adelma Roach. Arts Education Partnership and President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.1999.


Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner City Youth. Milbrey W. McLaughlin, Merita A. Irby, Juliet Langman. Jossey-Bass. 2001.

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Jacquelynne Eccles and Jennifer Appleton Gootman. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine and National Academies Press. 2002.

Powerful Voices: Developing High-Impact Arts Programs for Teens. Mindy N. Levine. Surdna Foundation. 2002.

Afterschool Advantage: Powerful New Learning Opportunities. Edited by Terry K. Peterson and Sybil Fix. Foundations, Inc. 2007.

Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults. James S. Catterall. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.2009.

Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education. Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, Ellen Winner, Lois Hetland, Patricia Palmer. Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education and The Wallace Foundation. 2009.


Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Mizuko Ito et al. MIT Press. 2010.

Engaging Adolescents Guidebook: Building Youth Participation in the Arts. The National Guild for Community Arts Education. 2011.

Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts. Denise Montgomery, Peter Rogovin, and Nero Persaud. Published by The Wallace Foundation. (2013).

ARTSblog Salon on Creative Youth Development. Americans for the Arts. (2014).

Other Resources

“A Teen Programs: A How-To Kit” Walker Art Center. 1999.

The Youth Program Quality Assessment from The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. Charles Smith. 2005.

Excellence on Stage and in Life: The Mosaic Model for Youth Development Through the Arts. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Lorraine M. Gutierrez, and Michael S. Spencer. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. 2008.

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP) Framework for Outcomes in Youth Arts Programs, BYAEP Workbook, and BYAEP Handbook. Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project and Raw Art Works. 2012.

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