Supporting Creative Youth

Our CYD Milestones

March 2014: Mass Cultural Council hosts the National Summit for Creative Youth Development to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the YouthReach Initiative.  On the final day of that convening we pledged to double funding for Creative Youth Development programs in Massachusetts, which stood at $478,000 spread across 39 programs. By 2018 that investment was tripled through the launch of new grant programs and innovative systems of support built on public-private partnerships.

December 2014: The launch of SerHacer, the first public support system for El Sistema-inspired work in the United States that included a partnership with Johnson String Instrument to provide violins, violas, and cellos to all funded programs.

October 2015: The launch of Amplify, a program that provides grants to young people for youth led projects.  This program recognized the cultural contributions young people make to the Commonwealth and has now funded 42 distinct projects and employed past winners as panelists.

August 2016: The launch of the National Partnership for Creative Youth Development in collaboration with the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Americans for the Arts, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

October 2016: The launch of the META Fellowship Pilot program, in partnership with the Klarman Family Foundation.  This program, the largest teaching artist support program in the United States, recognized the vital role the teachers play in Creative Youth Development.

September 2017: The Mass Cultural Council’s newest strategic plan and messaging platform is unveiled, highlighting Creative Youth Development as one of the four key pillars of the agency’s work.

August 2018: The Mass Cultural Council votes to approve more than $1.5 million to support 74 Creative Youth Development programs, Amplify, the META Fellowship, and Johnson String Project.

Beyond the number of programs being funded and the dollar amounts that are now being invested are the stories of impact that this increased funding has supported:

The growth in funding and programming from the Mass Cultural Council has enabled more young people to engage with culture in a way that celebrates their creativity and elevates their voice to be a part of the vibrant cultural community of the Commonwealth. As we move closer to the 25th anniversary of our investment in this work we’re looking forward to continuing that growth and innovation for new generations to come.

Creative Youth Development