A new program from Mass Cultural Council is stepping into a significant and systemic gap in the youth arts ecosystem. The Creative Youth Development Teaching Artist Fellowship Pilot Program supports teaching artists in Creative Youth Development (CYD) programs throughout Massachusetts through a series of group learning sessions, site visits, and grants.
Built on the model of the Music Educator and Teaching Artist (META) Fellowship, a partnership of The Klarman Family Foundation and Mass Cultural Council, this new pilot program covers all disciplines in the arts, interpretive sciences, and humanities. By balancing individual learning and artistry with the development of a tightly knit community of practice, the CYD Fellowship has immediate impacts in the classroom and long-term impacts for the field.
The new pilot program launched last week at Central Square Theater and was led by world-renowned teaching artist Eric Booth. Throughout the year, CYD Fellows will address identified areas of need in their work as teaching artists, including youth worker training and work in trauma-informed practice.
Participating teaching artists were nominated by the following organizations:
The META Fellowship, a partnership between Mass Cultural Council and The Klarman Family Foundation, is the first program of its kind to convene a statewide community of music educators and teaching artists.
In an effort to make the learning of the Fellowship more broadly available, we are pleased to announce that the META Fellowship web site is now live. The site contains resources that were created to meet shared needs in classrooms throughout the Commonwealth and a list of professional development opportunities that Fellows utilized during the pilot program. As the second cohort of Fellows complete their Fellowship, more resources and tools will be added.
The goal of this comprehensive two-day training is to prepare teaching artists and leaders in the cultural sector to deliver basic behavioral health disaster response skills to young people that have experienced trauma from large-scale disasters or critical events such as homicides, suicides, accidental deaths, and similarly distressing events. Participants will be presented with the evolution of efforts to assist survivors following trauma and provided with an overview of the human stress response and how it affects the choice of interventions with distressed individuals. The Post-Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM) continuum of interventions and the eight core functions of Psychological First Aid (PFA) will be taught.
The training comprises two 6.5 hour days. Participants must commit to both days. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available.
Friday, October 18: Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress St, Boston, MA
Saturday, October 26: Community Art Center
119 Windsor St # 6, Cambridge, MA
9-9:30am: Registration, coffee etc.
9:30am-12pm: Session time
The training is free and limited to two representatives per organization.
Mass Cultural Council recently released a spending plan for the new fiscal year that will invest more than $1.6 million in creative youth development, increasing investments in national model programs, providing grants for youth-led projects, and expanding support for teaching artists.
This year we are funding 74 programs through YouthReach and SerHacer; and will continue to support Amplify, a groundbreaking program that provides grants to young people for youth-led projects throughout the Commonwealth; the META Fellowship; and the Johnson String Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that all students in El Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts have access to high quality string instruments.
We will also be launching a new Teaching Artist Pilot Program, based on an internationally recognized professional development model created here in Massachusetts.
Creative youth development unleashes the potential of young people as creators, leaders, and architects of a better world. Creative youth development programs empower youth to explore their identities in a safe place, find their voice, and map their future.
Together our support of young people, teaching artists, and organizations empowers new voices to be heard in the cultural and civic conversations of the Commonwealth.
“When we support creative youth development, we are supporting the generation who will shape our world,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director.
What does this support look like? Here are just a couple of examples:
We are please to announce that Käthe Swaback has joined Mass Cultural Council as a Creative Youth Development Program Officer. Käthe comes to us after more than 20 years as the Program Director of the nationally-recognized CYD organization, Raw Art Works. Her work at Mass Cultural Council will be focused on a new initiative connecting the arts and health, in addition to supporting the Creative Youth Development portfolio.
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.
From September 2016 to August 2018, The Mass Cultural Council (MCC) and The Klarman Family Foundation (KFF) piloted a two-year program focused on music educators and teaching artists from across Massachusetts. Both funders are committed to supporting music programs that provide low-income youth with access to high-quality sequential music training. The majority of Fellows worked at organizations funded by MCC and/or KFF. The goal of the META Fellowship Pilot Program was to strengthen the youth music training pathway by:
Enhancing the practice of music educators/teaching artists and their impact on youth, and
Developing stronger connections between music educators/teaching artists and greater awareness of the resources available to benefit the youth they serve
Core components of the META Fellowship Pilot Program included:
Four learning sessions per year for entire cohort of Fellows
Two site visits by Fellows to the programs of other Fellows
Professional/Artistic development grants of up to $3,000 per Fellow
Group projects presented at a final showcase event
Annual stipends of $800 per Fellow for participation in the Pilot
52 individuals participated over the course of the two-year fellowship and 43 completed the full two years. The composite of the cohort included the following characteristics:
The vast majority of Fellows had formal music education, either holding a Bachelor’s of Music or Master’s degree, most often in performance with a small number in music education. Only two Fellows had no formal post-secondary education and two had non-music degrees.
The Fellows were employed by 25 non-profit organizations and five schools (public, parochial, and charter). The Fellows offered a broad range of music instruction (e.g. classical, jazz, pop, vocal) at a range of levels from introductory to mastery.
The cohort was diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and level of experience.
Evaluation of the META Fellowship Pilot Program
According to an external evaluation of the META Fellowship Pilot, the most significant areas of impact for the Fellows as a result of participating in META were:
Increased connections to peers and the music educator community
Improved skills related to student voice and engagement, classroom management, and lesson and curriculum planning
Stronger sense of, and appreciation for, themselves as music educators and as artists
Greater motivation and engagement with their teaching
Through continued investment in national model programs alongside grants for new and emerging organizations, Mass Cultural Council is supporting a generation of young people whose creativity and leadership will transform Massachusetts and its communities. Since 2015 we have nearly tripled our annual investment in these programs to just over $1.5 million to support creative youth development through a range of grants and initiatives.
Creative youth development—both a movement and a community of practice—has earned this support: Massachusetts boasts more than 40 winners of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, the nation’s highest honor in this field. Last year these programs served more than 6,000 at-risk youth, and our goal is to reach 10,000 by 2020.
“Our young people are creative, full of potential, and eager to lead,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “We are committed to the idea that youth has something to say; they bring their voice and their vision to the conversations about how to make our Commonwealth a better place for everyone. Our support for creative youth development helps to ensure they will be heard.”
What does this support look like? Here are just a couple of examples:
In the Pioneer Valley a small program called The Art Garden is growing their work with young people from five counties in a former train station in Shelburne Falls.
Berkshire Pulse is providing youth development opportunities through dance to a high needs community in Housatonic.
Young people in Franklin created their own anti-bullying campaign last year.
In Boston, the Theater Offensive is continuing its award-winning work with LGBTQ youth in Boston.
And students from low-income families are developing a range of workforce skills through an apprenticeship program at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
We invited Elizabeth Pickard from the Missouri History Museum and Lynn Stanley, Curator of Education for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum to discuss their respective institutions as a place for connecting the story of themselves, the story of their communities, and the story of now. Listen to how their own stories brought them into the museum field and how they strive to ‘lift the veil’ between their institutions and the lived experience of young people in their communities.
Our Music Educators and Teaching Artist (META) Fellowship Pilot Program is a two-year program focused on enhancing the quality of music teaching and learning in school and community based organizations throughout Massachusetts. Through work with nearly 50 Fellows from more than 30 schools and non-profits, this program provides four learning sessions per year, site visits, grants, and stipends for participating. Year One brought a rich set of learning experiences to both the Fellows and the Mass Cultural Council.
What we learned in Year One:
Fellows recognized one another as the most valuable assets in developing their practice and impact as Music Educators and Teaching Artists.
Fellows want more time to learn from one another.
There were two main topics the group identified as useful to explore in Year Two: Child Development/Psychology and Cultural Competence.
In Year Two, we have decided build on the greatest asset of the Fellowship and the one that will endure beyond the pilot program – the Fellows. We will continue building the Fellowship around the assets of the group, host a session with the Silk Road Ensemble around cultural competency and another session to focus on child and cognitive development. Year Two will culminate in a showcase and convening for Fellows, other educators in their schools and organizations, principals, executive and artistic directors, and higher education institutions on April 4, 2018.