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“Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind”
– Louise Nevelson

Anonymous, Artistic Noise, 2011For many young people, the transition from adolescence to adulthood can be difficult. When overcoming such challenges as disability, violence, and poverty, these youth need an environment that will structure and support their intellectual and creative development.

Afterschool and out-of-school programs can help fill this void. Across Massachusetts, nonprofit cultural organizations and human service agencies are providing at-risk youth with in-depth experiences in arts and culture. Whether it’s linking a high school dropout to a teaching artist, or introducing an incarcerated teen to Shakespeare, these programs find innovative ways to inspire positive growth. Activities take place outside of the school, after regular school hours, in the summer, or on weekends – in times and places where kids most need constructive activities.

The MCC’s YouthReach Initiative promotes out-of-school arts, humanities and science opportunities that nurture the spirit of creative inquiry in young people by:

  • Providing young people with in-depth arts, humanities, or interpretive science experiences that create opportunities to interact directly with practicing artists, humanists and scientists, and to develop techniques or skills for creative inquiry.
  • Demonstrating a clear understanding of young people in need.
  • Demonstrating a clear ability to infuse arts, humanities, or science learning programs with the principles of youth development.
  • Marshaling the resources of the community and fostering substantive collaboration between cultural organizations and other community institutions addressing young people in need.

YouthReach encourages collaboration between cultural organizations, human service agencies and other organizations. The primary applicant for a YouthReach project must be a nonprofit cultural organization or an organization having a strong programming history in the proposal's primary discipline. For information on applying, please see the application instructions.

The YouthReach Initiative has been supported since its inception with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. YouthReach is a model program that has received national recognition, with many projects cited for excellence by the prestigious Coming Up Taller awards given by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In November 1998, the YouthReach Initiative was honored by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies with the first annual Innovation Award, which recognizes "best practices among state arts agencies.”

YouthReach is a part of the MCC's Creative Minds Initiative.

 
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