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:
Included in the spending plan is $2.2 million for Creative Youth Development & Education. With this investment Mass Cultural Council will work to expand access to quality, creative learning experiences for young people in school and community settings through:
YouthReach, which supports nonprofit organizations that provide in-depth arts, humanities, and science programs for young people at risk. See FY18 funding list.
SerHacer, supporting intensive, ensemble-based programs that use music as a vehicle for youth development and social change. Through grants and technical assistance, Mass Cultural Council fosters this emerging field of music education across the Commonwealth. See FY18 funding list.
STARS Residencies connect artists and creative educators in the humanities and sciences with elementary and secondary schools with deep learning experiences that help students grow, develop new skills, and expand their imaginations.
Big Yellow School Bus grants help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions across Massachusetts.
Poetry Out Loud, a national competition in which high school students perform classic and contemporary poems while exploring elements of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre in their English and drama classes. The Huntington Theatre Co. has expanded Poetry Out Loud to more than 50,000 Massachusetts students each school year. It is funded with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Mass Cultural Council’s YouthReach and SerHacer provide funding for a three-year period to programs that infuse the arts, sciences, and humanities with principles of youth development. Application deadlines for the next three-year cycle are: