An international World Health Organization study found that 70% of respondents had experienced at least one type of trauma in their lifetime (Magruder et al., 2016). Over the last year, trauma in the cultural community has become even more prevalent due to the long-term toxic stress of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and the injustices of racial inequality.
Trauma disproportionately impacts communities of color and young people, who are often already living with inadequate resources and access to power. Given these impacts, Mass Cultural Council is offering two workshops focused on understanding trauma and supporting healing in our community. Led by Dr. Tasha Golden and Renée Watson, these sessions will focus on how the arts can support healing, share and amplify the experiences of trauma and healing, and help transform policies and structures that perpetuate inequities. Continue reading Register for Trauma and Arts-Centered Healing Workshops→
Mass Cultural Council was proud to support and further learn from our Massachusetts organizations who attended the 2019 National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference in Austin, TX. With conference goals rooted in social justice and designed to showcase innovative strategies for advancing the work, Massachusetts leaders took to the stage.
Sadira Bethea is a college freshman with a passion for community empowerment. As an alumni of the Community Art Center in Cambridge, she co-led an on-site institute, entitled, Youth in the Lead: a Youth Development Approach for Engagement with Laurie Jo Wallace. As Managing Director of Health Resources in Action, Laurie Jo has spent the last 27 years promoting healthy communities and healthy youth in Boston through initiatives such as co-developing and promoting the research-based Advancing Youth Development Curriculum and the BEST (Building Exemplary Systems of Training for Youth Workers).
Both presented through warm-ups and research on how community-based arts programming can truly support youth leadership when “adultism” can be left behind. Sadira illustrated how adults can become more like accomplices with young people as they offer leadership opportunities to support youth in developing their strong identities, creativity, and connections. She also wowed the audience by using the new digital presentation tool of Menti (www.menti.com)!
Lisa Donovan, Ph.D, (professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) and Kim Roberts Morandi (Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the North Adams Public Schools) spoke eloquently on how arts can be a strategy for regional change, in their presentation, Think Like A Region: Supporting Arts Learning in Rural/Remote Regions. As co-directors of the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network, they have devised dynamic professional development along with proven models and strategies in order to help their communities gain access to arts education through regional network development.
After they discussed ways to effectively leverage change and maximize impact to an inspired audience, attendees were able to create mapping for their own projects and visions based on a “Yellow Brick Road” tool designed by Americans for the Arts. (Watch Lisa’s TED Talk and listen to her on our podcast. ) BRAINworks is part of a larger regional initiative (Creative Compact for Collective Impact) that includes the development and launch of the Berkshire Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education and a vibrant network for cultural organizations – Berkshire Cultural Assets Network. Learn more about BRAINworks, a portal for arts education in Berkshire County.
Also in attendance was Miranda Aisling, founder of Miranda’s Hearth. She is addressing the challenge of developing affordable and sustainable creative workspace, which is at an all-time low throughout Eastern Massachusetts. She has submitted a proposal to repurpose the Briscoe Middle School in Beverly MA as BevArt: The Beverly Arts Community Center. This proposal is the culmination of years of research, planning, and advocating, including qualitative interviews with over 140 Beverly stakeholders. More than 240 artists filled out a survey demonstrating their desire to rent studio space at BevArt in just six weeks. These responses included artist alums of YouthReach. If her proposal is selected, her project would create the largest community arts center on the North Shore and one of the largest in Massachusetts. #BevArt
Thank you National Guild for Community Arts Education for providing 3+ days of connection, ideas, inspiration, and providing opportunities to showcase the power of culture with the vision and leadership of Massachusetts.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Holistic Approaches Growing as Needs Grow
Collaboration Across Sectors
New Generation of Program Staff with New Approaches
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.
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
This was the start of a full-day workshop and site visits that provided attendees with ways to reinforce the natural alignment between youth development principles and strong music engagement experiences. The speaking alternated with performances from Baltimore’s emblematic OrchKids Program, and the participation of its charismatic and passionate founder Dan Trahey.
The day provided a variety of context for the exploration and execution of Creative Youth Development programming amongst practitioners from across the country, as well as an opportunity to visit and interact with work on the ground at Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School, where youth from OrchKids and Believe in Music gave examples of the roles arts and culture play in their lives, and how it allows them to present themselves as leaders and artists to their communities. Through exercises of collective composition and performance, as well as beatmaking and songwriting, participants engaged with these young leaders.
At Mass Cultural Council, we believe that a consistent, strategic youth development approach can help organizations and teaching artists create a bridge between the hope that music engagement will make transformational change in young people’s lives and the intentional youth development practices for how to do it.
The following are some resources from the day, provided by Health Resources in Action:
Under the facilitation of Eryn Johnson (Community Art Center) and Laurie Jo Wallace (Health Resources in Action), Mass Cultural Council hosted a training this fall for teaching artists and prospective creative youth development grantees to explore the BEST (Building Exemplary Systems of Training) Initiative’s “Creative Youth Approach”. The approach speaks to engaging students in their own creative learning and uses a series of prompts (e.g. leading a science experiment, designing and implementing a mural, planning a program budget, etc.) to challenge participants to think about where their practice stands on a spectrum from “adults should do alone” to “youth can do alone.”
Levels of youth involvement in learning range from “no youth involvement” in the planning and implementation of their education to “self-management” where youth are empowered to set their own agendas and take charge of their own learning. Overall, participants agreed that while adults are great at providing structure or acting as consultants, youth have natural abilities to create, teach and be responsible for their own learning and creative process. When students are provided a space where they can be collaborative and experience an increased level of self-managing, incredible learning opportunities occur.
Health Resources in Action is a recognized leader in the out-of-school time community. They operate the BEST Initiative, the only region-wide professional skills training and credentialing system for youth workers and their supervisors.
As of December, 2015, BEST has trained more than 10,000 youth workers and provided technical assistance to their agencies, which serve more than 80,000 youth.
We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching, Hip Hop Civics & Creativity
Monday, Nov 5, 2018 3 – 4:30pm The Loft 939 Boylston Street, 2nd Floor Boston
Dr. Bettina Love is an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. She is one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the ways in which urban youth negotiate culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her focus is also on how teachers and schools, working with parents and communities, can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice for the goal of equitable classrooms.
Healing Centered Practices through Creative Youth Development
Wednesday, October 17
3 – 4pm EST FREE
Learn about different healing centered practices and how an intentional focus on the principles of this approach: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment, can support your CYD program outcomes.
Supporting Youth-led Activism through Creative Youth Development
Thursday, October 25
3 – 4pm EST FREE
CYD programs work across sectors to engage youth in high quality arts-based programs that make a real impact in our community. To that end, youth who participate in CYD become activists. Participants both learn about social justice issues and create art work that aims to inspire and activate social change. Join us to hear from CYD program leaders who are creating opportunities for youth to use their art to make a difference
The Klarman Family Foundation and Mass Cultural Council invite you to the Final Showcase of the Music Educator and Teaching Artist (META) Fellowship Program Pilot on Wednesday, April 4. Over the past two years, 46 Fellows from more than 30 schools and non-profit organizations throughout Massachusetts have come together to build a community of practice to enhance the impact of music programs on young people.
At this culminating Showcase, Fellows will share tools and knowledge they have developed to address key challenges and opportunities in the field of music education. These projects build on the group learning the Fellows have done through formal sessions, site visits, and artistic/professional development grants.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 4, 4-6PM
WHERE: Boston Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston
WHO: Teaching artists and music educators, higher education leaders, other key stakeholders involved in youth music training or at local music institutions
4-5pm: Reception, Poster Sessions, musical performances by youth
5-6pm: Speaking program
Please RSVP and share this invitation with other educators in your community.
The first three webinars are focused on CYD fundamentals. In the months ahead, we’ll be adding to this exciting line-up with deeper dives into the five imperatives of the CYD national policy agenda, including webinars on cross-sector collaboration, documenting and communicating impact, promoting youth leadership, and more.
Creative Youth Development: What’s in a Name?
Wednesday, April 5, 1 – 2:30pm ET
Five Effective Models of Creative Youth Development Practice
Monday, April 24, 1 – 2:30pm ET
Youth Development in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities
Thursday, April 27, 4 – 5:30pm ET