Today marks the formal launch of the Creative Youth Development National Partnership between the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and Americans for the Arts. These four organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their joint commitment to advancing creative youth development (CYD) as a field of practice nationwide.

“We must continue to take a stand for the essential life lessons that come with the creative development of our nation’s youth,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “I look forward to expanding this partnership and all the important work that our combined efforts will accomplish as we invest in the creative potential of America’s youth.”

Creative youth development is a recently coined term that organizes a longstanding community of practice that intentionally integrates the arts, sciences, and humanities with youth development principles, sparking young people’s creativity, and building critical learning and life skills that carry into adulthood.

This new coalition is collaborating to organize and accelerate the CYD movement through a collective impact strategy with a common agenda, shared systems and activities, cross-sector engagement, and continuous communications. The Partnership aims to strengthen community-based organizations working in youth development and the arts, sciences, and humanities; develop and support adult practitioners in the field; and benefit youth by increasing access to CYD opportunities throughout the United States.

In 2014, representatives of the creative youth development field came together at the National Summit for Creative Youth Development to form its first-ever national policy agenda. The Creative Youth Development National Partnership has embraced a collective impact strategy to implement this agenda.

Since the 2014 Summit, each of the partner organizations in the Creative Youth Development National Partnership has continued to contribute to advancing the CYD field in a number of ways, as described in this progress report.

The Partnership is currently leading and advising these major projects, which have begun this summer:

  • National Blueprint for Creative Youth Development–With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, this collective impact project works to advance cross-sector development of the CYD field and strengthen local and national partnerships. A national advisory group and a range of research activities will inform the Blueprint, which will seek to identify and prioritize actionable strategies for achieving shared goals to increase access to creative learning for American children and youth.
  • The Creative Youth Development Toolkit–The toolkit, set to launch in June 2018, will highlight relevant research on the CYD field and adjacent fields, illuminate effective practices for programmatic success, and provide tools and resources to drive forward the field of practice and the policies that support it.
  • www.CreativeYouthDevelopment.org–The web site, and associated newsletter, will provide unified communications that will foster information sharing, learning, knowledge development, collaboration, and input across the field.

Visit www.CreativeYouthDevelopment.org to learn more, and to join the CYD National Partnership email list.