Boston City Singers provides a high level of musical training and wide-ranging performance opportunities to young people to inspire personal development, celebrate diversity and foster goodwill.

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.

Funding Priorities

  1. 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);
  2. Use a holistic approach that includes goals for personal growth, artistic achievement and academic progress;
  3. 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, 131 grants totaling about $2.4 million have been made, benefitting 43 organizations.

Youth in the Arts Initiative - Selected Past Grants

  • Artists for Humanity
    $15,000 for the Youth Arts Enterprise Program, an effort where youth are employed to explore their creative abilities.
    visit the Artists for Humanity website
  • Bird Street Community Center
    $15,000 for the Arts Entrepreneurship Program, providing a variety of arts training to urban teens in four different areas: dance, glass arts, fashion and social media/video production.
    visit Arts Entrepreneurship on the Bird Street Community Center's website 
  • Boston Arts Academy
    $15,000 for the Alumni Creative Corps, a program that places trained BAA alumni in school-day and after-school programs as teaching artists to increase access to high-quality arts education for children in the BPS. 
    visit the Boston Arts Academy website
  • Boston Children's Chorus
    $20,000 for its Upper Choirs, involving youth aged 10 to 18 from Boston’s urban and suburban neighborhoods in choral training and high profile public performances towards uniting Boston’s diverse communities and inspiring social change.
    visit the Boston Children's Chorus website
  • Boston City Singers
    $20,000 for its Concert Chorus Program, a three-tiered progression of programs for teens, providing a high level of musical training and wide–ranging performance opportunities to inspire personal development, emphasize teamwork, celebrate diversity and foster goodwill worldwide.
    visit the Boston City Singers website
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    $18,500 for the Days in the Arts (DARTS) Program, to support the participation of ten economically disadvantaged urban youth
    visit DARTS on the Boston Symphony Orchestra website   
  • Cambridge Community Television
    $15,000 for its Youth Media Program, a year-round program that provides high school youth with media production skills, work experience, leadership training and connections to caring adults.
    visit the Youth Media Program on the Cambrdge Community Television website
  • Central Square Theater
    $12,000 for Youth Underground, which enables adolescents and young adults to create and perform live theater based on a theme of their choosing, including training to perform across gender, age, and background.
    visit YU on the Central Square Theater website 
  • Charlestown Working Theater
    $12,000 for the Teen Ensemble, a multi-layered theater program that gives youth ages 13-18 advanced training while they audition for, rehearse and perform a full scale production each year.  
    visit the Charlestown Working Theater website
  • Community Art Center
    $13,000 for the Teen Media Program, an effort that teaches youth ages 13-19 to be digital creators through a sequential, three-tiered curriculum in photography, video, and graphic design.
    visit the Teen Media Program on the Community Art Center website
  • EdVestors
    $40,000 for its Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at increasing access, equity, and the quality of arts learning for all BPS students.
    visit the Arts Expansion Initiative on the EdVestors website
  • Massachusetts College Of Art And Design Foundation
    $20,000 for Artward Bound, a multi-year college access program in the visual arts to prepare 8th through 12th grade Boston students with the artistic and academic skills needed for admission to and success in college.
    visit the Artward Bound website
  • OrigiNation
    $15,000 for its Professional Dance Division, providing youth ages 9-20 with intensive dance training, mentoring and exposure to arts management and production through their participation in one of four dance companies.
    visit the OrigiNation website
  • Sociedad Latina
    $15,000 for the Music Clubhouse, particularly its Youth Artists Mastery program, involving instrument instruction, ensemble and individual practice time, performance, academic and college access support, civic engagement, leadership training and individual case management for high school youth.
    visit the Sociedad Latina website
  • St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
    $15,000 for its GRLZ Radio program which uses both skill development and media literacy curricula to enable young women to have a voice in their community through the production of a live radio show and peer leadership in the delivery of community-based workshops for other youth.
    visit GRLZ Radio Online
  • Theater Offensive
    $15,000 for True Colors: OUT Youth Theater, a theater education program where LGBT youth and their straight allies learn self-expression and work towards positive social change through writing and performing original plays. 
    visit True Colors on the Theater Offensive website
  • The Urbano Project
    $20,000 for Artists' Project and Young Curators Programs, which train youth to create visual art and to perform multi-disciplinary works, as well as curate themed exhibitions by other youth and established artists.
    visit The Urbano Project's website
  • Transformative Culture Project
    $20,000 in operating support for this organization that works to increase opportunities, education and employment in the creative fields for urban youth, artists of color and entrepreneurs from under-served neighborhoods.
    visit the Transformative Culture website
  • West End House Boys and Girls Club
    $20,000 for its SUCCESS in Art program, providing instruction in different media in the visual arts to at-risk middle school students enrolled in the organization's SUCCESS program.
    visit the West End House Boys and Girls Club website
  • Zumix
    HANDS-ON Youth Development Program
    visit the Zumix website

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