CYD Local Networks Project

Through a national proposal process, the National Creative Youth Development Partnership (“CYD Partnership”) has selected three local CYD networks in Austin, TX; Becker County, MN; and Detroit, MI to receive support via professional development and technical assistance from February through December 2020. 

The CYD Local Networks Project aims to support the development of local CYD networks and ensure the core values of CYDYouth Voice, Racial Equity, and Collective Action.



What is the CYD National Partnership? 

Established in 2016, the CYD National Partnership aims to ensure that creative youth development is a broadly-implemented, well-researched, and equitably-funded practice and available to all youth. In 2018, the Partnership established the CYD National Action Blueprint in concert with a 10-member National Advisory Committee and 3 Action Teams to drive collective action to increase access to CYD for U.S. youth. 650+ stakeholders—youth, practitioners, funders, researchers—contributed to the development of the Blueprint, centered on three core imperatives: Field Building, Building Pathways to Funding (Funding), and Documenting and Communicating Impact (Visibility & Impact).


As part of its effort to sustain the implementation of Blueprint strategies, the CYD Partnership is seeking to develop and deepen connections among local CYD peer learning networks (emerging and sustaining), working in tandem towards Blueprint goals to build the field, support program quality, and raise the visibility of CYD among potential supporters. This strategy is informed by the Partnership’s current work to map the CYD network landscape and highlight effective practices, and by the demonstrated success of parallel regional network investment efforts. 


What is a Peer Learning Network? 

As stated in the CYD National Blueprint (2018): “Arts education organizations face numerous opportunities and challenges to fulfill their missions, often with limited resources. An effective way for practitioners and other CYD stakeholders to support and learn from each other is through the development of local or regional peer learning networks. These networks provide opportunities for multiple stakeholders to connect with one another to learn, collaborate, and collectively advance CYD. Core to this strategy is the engagement of youth and community-based organizations, as well as funders, researchers, partners in allied youth sectors (i.e., youth development, workforce development, juvenile justice) and others that share a collective vision of advancing the role of creativity in positive youth development."


Image: The Partnership's National Young Artists Summit, entirely designed and led by young people.

Image: The Partnership's National Young Artists Summit, entirely designed and led by young people.


How will networks be supported through this project?
The Partnership CYD National Coordinator, Ashley Hare, will provide joint professional development and technical assistance to three, youth-centered local CYD peer learning networks by offering:

  • Regular strategy sessions to develop and/or deepen your network's member engagement and action planning

  • Connection with CYD networks from across the country to learn and share practices 

  • Design support and financial resources to engage CYD facilitators/presenters to lead professional learning opportunities for your network (this includes connections to CYD leaders nationally)

  • Other assistance as needed


Primary Network Representatives

Networks must demonstrate alignment with the core values of CYDyouth voice, racial equity, and collective actionand must have a lead intermediary. The intermediarywhich can be an organization or individualmust demonstrate capacity to convene the network; spearhead storytelling, advocacy and resource sharing, and coordinate technical assistance to the Network.

Selected CYD networks must designate one adult representative from the intermediary organization and one youth (age 13-20) from the network to participate in all project activities. These (2) primary representatives from each network will lead the convening of local stakeholders, coordinate professional development opportunities, begin or deepen a local network action plan, attend monthly calls with the CYD National Coordinator and representatives of the other networks, attend two national convenings with CYD National Partnership members, and coordinate share-outs of lessons learned. The CYD National Coordinator will work directly will these two representatives to offer coordination assistance and resources. 


Honoraria for Primary Network Representatives

  • Each primary youth representative of the network will receive a one-time $300 honoraria for participation in all key project activities. 

  • Each intermediary will receive a one-time $1,000 honoraria for serving as host for local convenings (see key project activities).


This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the press release announcing the Partnership's grant. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit