Social Justice Resources

cover art for "No Going Back: A COVID-19 Cultural Strategy Activation Guide"

The core values of Creative Youth Development – racial equity and social justice, youth voice, and collective action – must be centered now more than ever.

Resources for Talking about Race

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Opportunities & Resources – June 5

New Narratives: Reclaiming Asian Identity Through Story
Call for Artists: Unbound Visual Arts invites Boston-area Asian and Asian American creatives to submit work that explores notions of Asian identity within the U.S. Deadline: June 22, 2020.

Teaching for Equity and Justice: An Online Equity Summit
Facing History and Ourselves hosts the online seminar from July 20-23, 2020. Learn more.

Advocate for Arts Education during COVID-19
MassCreative offers some actions you can take.
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Opportunities & Resources – May 27

Woman making a 2D art work at the Care Center in Holyoke. Photo: Käthe Swaback.Artists 14+

Radical Imagination for Racial Justice
MassArt and the City of Boston announced a $1.2 million award from the Surdna Foundation to support artists of color who live or work in Boston (artists of all ages 14+) who are excited to bring to life their visions of a racially just society. This three-year regranting program titled Radical Imagination for Racial Justice (RIRJ) is in partnership with MassArt and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, who will distribute funds to artists seeking to advance racial justice through 260 collaborative projects in their communities.  Application deadline extended to July 8, 2020.

Teaching Artists

Nominations Open for 2020 ATA Awards
The Association of Teaching Artists Awards aim to increase the visibility of teaching artists working within the arts in education and community arts fields, and celebrate the organizations and institutions where they work as well as honor innovation in teaching artistry.  Nominations will be accepted for: Innovation in Teaching Artistry Award, Teaching Artist Ally Award, Distinguished Service to the Field Award. Teaching artists of any artistic discipline are eligible for consideration. Nominations will be accepted until June 5, 2020.  Submit a nomination.
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Teacher Voice during COVID-19

Corey DePina, Musician and Youth Development and Performance Manager at Zumix, talks with a youth musician.
Corey DePina, musician and Youth Development and Performance Manager at Zumix, talks with a youth musician.

An amazing thing happened in March of 2020 – with no preparation, no warning, and no training, teachers around the world had to pivot toward creating learning experiences with empty classrooms and studios. There was no policy. Guidelines were late in coming. But the change happened. Teachers at the Community Music Center of Boston moved most of their lessons online, teachers at the Community Music School of Springfield began making YouTube videos of lessons for students to access asynchronously, and education staff at Barrington Stage Company facilitated four hours of youth-developed theater on Zoom.
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Creative Youth Development Serves Our Most Vulnerable

Theater Offensive performance. Photo by Aram Boghosian.
Theater Offensive performance. Photo by Aram Boghosian.

Creative Youth Development (CYD) programs serve some of the most vulnerable youth in Massachusetts. Often these are young people for whom home and school have not been places of support but, instead, the source of trauma in their lives. During the current pandemic, however, many of these youth are sheltered, or trapped, in place in these homes. Early on, when CYD organizations were striving to stay connected to young people, it became very clear that they many were not engaging with arts, humanities, or interpretive science programs that had been such a vibrant part of their lives. They were receding into themselves as a self-preservation mechanism while we as a field were trying to draw them out. This was a simple reminder of something we all know: Young people, all people, need to have their basic needs met – food security, housing, and health – before they can engage fully and creatively.
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The Show Must Go On

One of the key challenges for Creative Youth Development programs during COVID-19 has been the cancellations of culminating events showcasing the work and growth of young people in these programs. Theater performances, concerts, art shows, and open houses all of have been called off, diminishing the feeling of accomplishment for young people and losing a vital opportunity for the organizations to do fundraising.
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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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Apply to the Lewis Prize for Music COVID-19 Community Response Fund by May 8

COVID-19 Community Response Fund

The Lewis Prize for Music has launched a $1 million COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Creative Youth Development leaders and youth music programs to support their responsive and adaptive efforts during COVID-19. This fund will distribute over 20 grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to youth-serving music programs. The application closes on May 8 with grants distributed on June 16. Visit The Lewis Prize for Music for more information.

Creative Youth Development

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