All posts by Dawn Heinen

AFTA Releases CYD Landscape Analysis Papers

Americans for the Arts landscape analysis paper cover artAs part of Americans for the Arts’ work on their Creative Youth Development Toolkit, they commissioned field experts to produce a set of seven landscape analyses about key topics within youth development. These papers identify trends in creative youth development, share recommendations for CYD practitioners, and suggest areas for future exploration. All of them are now available online:

The Shout Syndicate Announces Pilot Round of Grants Totaling $200,000

Teens hosting radio program at Zumix in East Boston.
Teens hosting radio program at Zumix in East Boston.

Last week the Shout Syndicate, an innovative collaboration of Boston music and arts industry professionals in partnership with The Boston Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, announced awards totaling $200,000 in its pilot round of grants to 10 Greater Boston non-profit arts organizations that focus on creative youth development.

Congratulations to the recipients:

The pilot round of grants were made possible in part by donations from early backers Don Law/Live Nation New England, film/TV writer/producer Judd Apatow, and international recording artists The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

“Congratulations to this first group of grantees, and thank you for your dedication to enhancing creative youth development in Boston,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The Shout Syndicate has already become a central part of our arts strategy in the City of Boston. Together we’re making progress in improving access to the arts in and out of schools, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped us make it a reality.”

Each grantee will receive $20,000 to produce youth-led arts programs in disciplines including music, dance, theater, and visual/media/literary arts during the 2019-2020 school year. The grants also cover stipends for participating youth to receive hourly wages, so they don’t need to choose between an after-school job or an arts program.

“The Boston Foundation is proud to support and partner with The Shout Syndicate on this new funding opportunity,” said Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO of The Boston Foundation. “These 10 grantees are among the very best organizations in youth arts in our region. We applaud Mayor Walsh for noting the need for a new fund in this sector, and we look forward to seeing the outstanding projects that will come from these grants.”

“We at Urbano Project are thrilled to be a Shout Syndicate grantee,” said Stella Aguirre McGregor, Executive Artistic Director. “We’re proud to be part of this pilot cohort and excited to start our work.”

Teens will create their projects — including a city-wide youth publication in Boston, public art murals in Lynn, original dance choreography, a history of hip hop in Cambridge, original music recordings in East Boston and Roxbury, and original LGBTQ theater — with support from arts leaders and teaching artists. In the Spring of 2020, each grantee will share their cumulative work with the public.

Read the Full Release

Podcast: There’s the Intent and There’s the Impact

Lecolion WashingtonOn the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Lecolion Washington, CEO and Executive Director of the Community Music Center of Boston, about the barriers to seeing more diversity in symphony orchestras across America, what systemic change takes, and how to create an organizational culture that is success-based, not deficit-based.

Listen to the episode.

Read the transcript

Check out other episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.

Nano-Interview with Elissa Johnson-Green of UMass Lowell

Elissa Johnson-GreenName: Elissa Johnson-Green
Organization: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Title: Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education
Genre: General music education focused on composition
Years in the Field: 20

What do you do at University of Massachusetts Lowell?
I teach future music teachers. I also have created and run a program called the EcoSonic Playground Project, which provides open access to musical instrument play for all children. We have brought this program to diverse learning communities in the US, Canada, and Ireland.

Why do you do what you do?
My whole life has revolved around music. After being a classical performer (flute and voice) for many years, I decided to shift my focus to music education. I started out as a music teacher in K-8 education. This experience taught me that children understand music as a powerful and meaningful force in their lives – one that they rely on for so many aspects of their social interactions, emotional development, artistic development, and learning. Now, as a professor who trains music educators, I teach my adult students how to approach teaching music from the perspective that music is at the core of what makes us human. I do this work because I want to influence my students to teach music as a dynamic, living art form and as an essential form of expression.

What comes easiest to you in this work?
Teaching! I am fortunate to work with amazing students who are dedicated to music education. They are talented, intelligent, and passionate about bringing music to all children.

What challenges you in this work?
All of the administrative tasks I need to do to make sure my program runs smoothly. Helping my students to navigate the scheduling system – and making sure they are on track to graduate.

What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
I take seriously my responsibility to provide high quality music educators to my community. Having more great music teachers available and working in the schools, means it’s more likely that the schools will value their music programs. My hope is to graduate students who will contribute to the growth and development of music education for all.

What music do you like listen to (if even a little too loudly)?
I listen to anything that I consider to be good music. Some of my favorites: Palestrina, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Bartok, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Led Zepplin, Rush, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Alison Krauss, and anything that Yo Yo Ma has ever played.

Seen any good movies lately?
Into the Spider-Verse. I highly recommend it.

Podcast: Opening Doors and Creating Pathways

Alexandra Oliver-Dávila On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with  Alex Oliver-Dávila, Executive Director of Sociedad Latina, about the symbiotic relationship they have formed with numerous local colleges which allows their students to experience a pathway to higher education and bridges an institutional gap between higher education and community-based organizations.

Sociedad Latina is the oldest Latino youth organization in Boston. Its creative youth development program supports young people from middle-school into early college or career.

Listen to the episode.

Read the transcript

Check out other episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.

Creative Youth Development Learning Series Announced

UPDATED: Recordings from the entire learning series have been added below.

Join Grantmakers for Education Arts Education Impact Group. and the Creative Youth Development National Partnership for a learning series that starts July 30.

This learning series is a set of dynamic online conversations with youth, experts, funders, and practitioners based on a set of written briefs Americans for the Arts commissioned that were authored by field experts as part of AFTA’s first phase of a creative youth development toolkit.

We will explore new paths forward for supporting youth through creative youth development practice. The series will dive into what it means to support students in overcoming adversity, through approaches centered on agency, justice, and equity.

This learning series is brought to you by the Creative Youth Development National Partnership in collaboration with the Grantmakers for Education Arts Education Impact Group. It is hosted by the National Guild for Community Arts Education and made possible by generous support from the Clare Rose Foundation.

July 30, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, Free

Working With Youth

So often we adults make decisions on programming and policy without youth voice, even though they are directly impacted by our choices. But young people are speaking up to become their own agents of change. They are concerned about their future when we are long gone and they are ready to lead today. To truly give them the space they are demanding, we must rethink what it means to co-lead with young people. Learn practices to consider when implementing youth-driven leadership models in classrooms, afterschool programs and community spaces. A rich conversation with funders, youth, practitioners and experts will provide insight from multiple perspectives.

Watch the July 30 recording

Read the “Working with Youth” landscape analysis (PDF)

August 28, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, Free

Trends in CYD Programs

Creative youth development programs, with their grassroots and community-based origins, are a heterogeneous field of practice that has in recent years codified characteristics of high quality CYD through a series of frameworks. At the same time, CYD practitioners are committed to reflection and ongoing refinement, to programs being actively shaped by young people, and being connected to and a reflection of their communities. Therefore, CYD program practices are continuously in development.

Join us for an overview of the soon-to-be published Trends in CYD Programs landscape analysis from Americans for the Arts and the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. During the webinar, researcher Denise Montgomery of CultureThrive will discuss five current trends in CYD program development:

  1. Holistic Approaches Growing as Needs Grow
  2. Collaboration Across Sectors
  3. New Generation of Program Staff with New Approaches
  4. Scaling by Depth
  5. Establishing Creative Career Pathways

Watch the July 30 recording

Read the “Trends in CYD Programs” landscape analysis (PDF)

September 24, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00p.m. ET – Free

Working in Social Justice

Social justice in the field of creative youth development (CYD) means working with youth from multiple identities to expand and nurture their analytic sensibilities, creativity, self-reflection, and critical thinking skills to engage them in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and intersectional justice. It also means promoting and supporting youth culture as a mechanism to drive youths’ understanding of and ability to challenge racial violence, and structural and systemic oppression.

Join Dr. Bettina Love for a discussion of key insights and recommendations presented in her recently released paper, “Working in Social Justice,” published by Americans for the Arts and the CYD National Partnership. Dr. Love will be joined by three nationally-recognized CYD practitioners.

Presenters:

  • Bettina Love, author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia.
  • Ashley Hare, Co-Founder, RE:FRAME Youth Arts Center, Phoenix, AZ and National Coordinator, CYD National Partnership
  • Robyne Walker Murphy, Executive Director, Groundswell, Brooklyn, NY
  • Mika Lemoine, Mentor Teaching Artist, Destiny Arts Center, Oakland, CA

Watch the September 24 recording

Read the “Working in Social Justice” landscape analysis (PDF)