Art Reach at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and the Boston Children’s Chorus were each presented with a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by First Lady Michelle Obama during a ceremony in the in the White House’s East Room on November 22. The award is the nation’s highest honor for outstanding after-school and out-of-school programs.
- Art Reach at Provincetown Art Association and Museum is a free, multidisciplinary afternoon immersion program providing substantive arts and humanities education for youth aged 13 years and up.
- Boston Children’s Chorus provides intense choral training and performance opportunities in order to harness the power and joy of music to unite Greater Boston’s diverse communities and inspire social change.
Art Reach and the Boston Children’s Chorus were among 50 exemplary programs across the country selected by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) as National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Finalists. Two other Massachusetts programs – Project STEP and True Colors: Out Youth Theater at the Theater Offensive – were also selected as finalists. In the 16-year history of the awards, 37 Massachusetts organizations have been recognized, including 21 national winners. MCC is proud to support these organizations through its YouthReach Initiative and other grant programs. Read the full press release.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its YouthReach Initiative with a series of events that culminate in a national agenda to propel the field of creative youth development into the next decade. In March the agency will host a national summit, in partnership with the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities and the National Guild for Community Arts Education, that brings the best and the brightest working at the intersection of the arts, culture and youth development to Boston. Leading up to the summit MCC will also hold regional celebrations throughout Massachusetts beginning this evening with a youth showcase at the Museum of Science, Boston. And today we launch a this new blog, Seen & Heard, where we will tell stories of young lives transformed through creativity and of the skilled practitioners who made those stories possible.
See the full press release.
Earlier this week, the Wallace Foundation and Next Level Strategic Marketing Group released a much anticipated and highly useful report, along with a series of videos, Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts. (There’s even an infographic.)
I suspect I will be referring to this report and its findings for a long time as I help people build new programs and reflect on current work.
Among the highlights:
- Understanding that in choosing afterschool opportunities, teens and ‘tweens are consumers (whether programs are paid-for or free, young people are shopping with their time) and programs need to meet the young people where they are.
- The market research offers some highly actionable insights on what the consumers are looking for (and NOT looking for).
- The success principles for quality programming stress the importance of addressing artistic excellence AND youth development principles — the either/or is a false dichotomy.
- There is strong alignment between what the consumers (young people) say they want in a program and what providers (practitioners, program people) say are the elements of success (safe spaces, opportunities for mastery, sense of belonging, presenting to larger world…).
The title of the report is also pretty great.
I think this is a really terrific contribution to the field. What do you think?