National Guild For Community Arts Education

Program Banner

Forgot Password?

Enter your email below to help retrieve your password.

Forgot Password?
Home > Programs > Key Initiatives > Creative Youth Development

Creative Youth Development

Across the country, hundreds of creative youth development programs are setting high expectations for young people, encouraging positive risk taking, promoting leadership development, and offering real-world opportunities to contribute to social change. Creative youth development programs, which encompass those working in arts-, humanities-, and science-based youth development with an emphasis on creative inquiry and expression, are a dynamic part of community arts education. These programs link individual growth with the emergence of social responsibility. As young people create, they build the personal, social, and intellectual capacities they need to succeed in school, career, and life.

The Rise of Creative Youth Development

This article, which appeared in Arts Education Policy Review, provides a definition for the term creative youth development, describes core characteristics of CYD programs, and briefly describes four CYD programs. It provides background on the origins and history of the field, including current advances and signs the field is coalescing. The article describes CYD in the larger contexts of arts education and of education reform, and discusses policy, funding, and research needs and opportunities.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Arts Education Policy Review on June 16, 2016.

Read full article »

Guild Awarded $100,000 NEA Grant for CYD


The National Guild for Community Arts Education, on behalf of a coalition of national partners, has been awarded an NEA Art Works grant for $100,000. The award will support a collective impact initiative and the creation of the first-ever blueprint to advance creative youth development (CYD).

Learn more »

National Summit Unifies and Activates

In March 2014, over 200 youth arts practitioners, funders, policymakers, and students convened in Boston for the first-ever National Summit on Creative Youth Development, co-hosted by the National Guild, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. 

The proceedings brought attention to the essential work of organizing and unifying the field with the policy and advocacy agenda, Collective Action for Youth: An Agenda for Progress Through Creative Youth Development (PDF). This two-page document articulates the purpose and value of creative youth develop; asserts its place as central to ensuring young people’s academic, professional, and personal success; and identifies five key imperatives for catalyzing on the work of creative youth development programs nationwide and their impact on students, families, and communities. It is a meaningful step toward widespread progress for programs throughout the United States.

National Blog Salon on Creative Youth Development

National Guild representatives participated in Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog Salon on CYD. Guild executive director Jonathan Herman discusses how the field is Getting Organized. And director of program and membership strategy Heather Ikemire shares ways CYD is gaining traction and discusses how you can help advance this important work. Guild trustees Jon Hinojosa and Sarah Cunningham also joined the conversation to talk about the need for new funding strategies and strategic partnerships.

Learn More »

Up Next

Summit partners are working with other local, state, and national organizations to advance the agenda, "Collective Action for Youth," and the National Guild will continue the dialogue and build on the agenda at its annual Conference for Community Arts Education, Nov. 2-5, 2016, in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Summit participants and partner organizations are strategizing and taking steps to advance the agenda at the national, state, and local levels.


To learn more, please contact Heather Ikemire, director of program and membership strategy, at (212) 268-3337 x10 or at

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.