The Youth in the Arts Initiative began in 2003 in response to the Trustees’ interest in arts organizations that benefit youth from disadvantaged circumstances. The Initiative was shaped by national research and local experience indicating the positive impact that high-quality youth arts programs have on self-esteem and academic performance. The goal of the Initiative was to increase access and participation for those youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to become involved in the arts. A secondary goal was to support the growth and development of youth as artists, as individuals, as students and as participants in their communities through their involvement in high quality youth arts programs.
- Serve “at risk” middle- and high school-aged youth (“at risk” is defined as youth who have limited access to opportunities for optimal growth and development);
- Use a holistic approach that includes goals for personal growth, artistic achievement and academic progress;
Offer high-quality experiences focused on artistic skill development through sequential learning.
The vast majority of grants made were for direct program support but a few were made to support systematic impact across the youth arts field, expanding the reach or building the capacity of existing programs.
Since the inception of the Initiative, 122 grants totaling about $2.3 million have been made, benefitting 43 organizations.