Last week, Mary Anne Carter, Acting Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited the Boch Center’s City Spotlights Teen Leadership Program, which empowers young people to become leaders in their schools, homes and communities using their creative voice. The program provides leadership training and employment opportunities and represents excellence in Creative Youth Development programming. As part of a full day in Massachusetts, Chairman Carter spoke with teens in the program about their creative experiences and the role the arts are playing in their development as artists and leaders in Boston.
The National Endowment for the Arts has played a key role in the national growth of the field of Creative Youth Development. They were in Boston for the National Summit on Creative Youth Development in 2014 that launched the national conversation around this work and again at the National Stakeholders meeting in 2017 that clarified a way forward for the field. Then Chairwoman Jane Chu visited Project STEP and co-hosted a convening focused on Creative Youth Development in 2016 and later became the first national funder of the National Partnership for Creative Youth Development through a grant accepted by the National Guild for Community Arts Education on behalf of the partnership. The NEA was also a long-time partner in the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP), which was the nation’s highest honor in Creative Youth Development.