Guild Receives $100,000 from NEA to Advance Creative Youth Development

The National Guild for Community Arts Education, on behalf of a coalition of national partners, has been awarded an NEA Collective Impact grant for $100,000. The grant will support the implementation of the National Blueprint for Creative Youth Development (CYD), a guiding document to be released in December 2017 that will map opportunities for cross-sector advancement of creative youth development and provide strategic recommendations for policy, partnership, and field-building.

The funds are part of the NEA’s second round of funding in FY 2017, which will award 1,195 grants totaling $82.06 million to support organizations in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions. “The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the National Guild for Community Arts Education in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

The funded project will support implementation of the National Blueprint for CYD’s strategies for achieving shared goals to increase access to arts education for youth during out-of-school time. Strategies include adopting effective business models; developing revenue sources; documenting and communicating the benefit of CYD programs for youth; using shared terminology, data, and assessment tools; and connecting programs with in-school arts education and non-arts community development initiatives. Under the leadership of the Guild as the backbone organization, the National CYD Partnership, with key stakeholders from the arts, humanities, youth development and CYD-related sectors such as community development and workforce development, will coordinate and foster participation and engagement of local and national community stakeholders through active working groups and online platforms that promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, and data collection.

Creative youth development is a recent term that unifies 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. In 2014, representatives of the CYD field came together to form its first-ever national policy and advocacy agenda and charged a national partnership to oversee its implementation. Current partners in the Creative Youth Development National Partnershipinclude the National Guild (which serves as a backbone organization), Americans for the Arts, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. The partnership—which is supported by a cross-sector, 12-member national advisory committee and a 10-member steering committee of CYD practitioners—aims to expand and diversify to include 2-4 additional partners from allied sectors.

Speaking in June 2016 at an event to celebrate the National Guild's 2016 Collective Impact grant in support of creation of the CYD Blueprint, chairman Jane Chu cited the importance of the Blueprint and its capacity "to identify the gaps and locate the opportunities to develop creative arts programs that include collaborations with other sectors, and help our young people across the nation succeed. It’s important to nurture and cultivate the pipeline of children and youth to be engaged in the arts, because the arts are helping to draw out their potential to live more fully."

Published: June 13, 2017