All posts by Dawn Heinen

CYD Alums: Join us for The Art of Healing

Blue and purple abstract design background with 2 light blue windows in the lower left coner. Each one has a person coming out of them. One a figure with long hair and striped pants. The other is waving to the first, wearing a yellow shirt. Words fill the rest of the space: CYD BIPOC Alumni Council Presents The Art of Healing, an event for CYD Alumni to come together and heal through art.

Join Mass Cultural Council’s Creative Youth Development BIPOC Alumni Council on May 20 from 6-7:30pm (ET) for a night of healing, creation, and connection. We invite alumni from CYD organizations from around the country to create with us. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, the Alumni Council wants to reflect on the importance of using one’s art as a way to prioritize the investment of one’s mental health. They hope for young artists to reconnect to their own artistic practices and to make connections with one another that go beyond this evening.

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Attend a Forum on Youth Art, Power & Peace

A Youth-Led Virtual Forum on Building Community and Healing through Art Making

March 19, 2021, 3:30-5pm

A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers and students to pivot to remote learning. In response, Mass Cultural Council began facilitating bi-weekly CYD Community Meetings to support the field during this new reality. We also co-hosted a series of forums on Remote Learning in Arts Education and Creative Youth Development alongside EdVestors and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Our next forum will be facilitated by youth members of the Bloomberg Arts Internship Alumni Advisory Council and Mass Cultural Council’s CYD BIPOC Alumni Council. Join us as we explore themes of community building; processing and healing from trauma; and addressing the socio-emotional challenges of the pandemic through the lens of art making.​

Please note that Zoom information for the forum will be sent to registered attendees closer to the event.

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Nano-Interview with Maria Doreste Velazquez of Berklee College of Music

Maria Doreste VelazquezName: Maria Doreste Velazquez
Organization: Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs and Boston Public Schools
Years in the Field: 10+

What do you do at the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs?
During the past eight years I have been a piano, ensemble, and early childhood instructor as well as a new course developer. I have also presented several workshops and lectures at Arts Better the Lives of Everyone (ABLE) conferences as well as facilitated professional development opportunities for music educators around the state and internationally. I have also had the pleasure to be the music specialist at The Edison School in Brighton where I teach general music and coordinate the instrumental program.
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We’re On This Journey Together: A Racial Equity Listening Series

Youth performing at an Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) event.

What would racial equity look like in Massachusetts’ cultural sector?
What can artists, cultural workers, and organizations do to help dismantle systemic racism?
How can Mass Cultural Council support the sector in achieving racial equity?

While systemic racism has been a part of this country for 400 years, recent events have fomented a growing movement for racial equity and justice. Mass Cultural Council is taking this moment in time to embark on a restart and refocus of our work as it relates to racial equity, and we want to hear from you.

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Culture Chats with CYD Leaders

Culture Chat graphicThis Spring we hosted a series of “Culture Chats,” to highlight the power of culture through resilience, adaptation, agility, and innovation.

These conversations offered a break from the gloom of the Coronavirus, a little bit of sunshine to remind us that the arts and culture are alive and well, if not necessarily in the theaters and venues where we’re used to finding them.

Watch our conversations with these Creative Youth Development leaders:
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Podcast: Youth Workforce Development in Creative Industries

On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Kim Dawson, Director of Advancement at ZUMIX. A venerable creative youth development organization in East Boston, ZUMIX works with a largely immigrant community to better equip its youth to be able to navigate the world once they have graduated out of their programs and high school. Dawson shares how they are expanding their opportunities for workforce development to help youth gain the skills they need to be paid well to do something they really love.

Listen to the episode

Read the transcript

Check out other episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.

Federal CARES Act Funds to Support CYD Programs Across MA

Youth performing on a stage
Youth performing on stage at the Wang Theater for Express Yourself’s 2019 end-of-year production. Photo by Käthe Swaback.

Today our governing Council voted to distribute federal CARES Act funds received by Mass Cultural Council to 74 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations statewide. Creative Youth Development programs foster creative expression while supporting core social and emotional skills, engaging young people of all ages as empowered agents in their own lives. As a practice, Creative Youth Development draws from the belief that culture plays a major role in the growth of creative, productive, and independent-minded individuals and thriving communities. After the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, these programs will be more vital than ever to the vulnerable youth and families they serve.
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