In 2019, the CYD National Partnership’s Field Building Action Team conducted interviews across the nation to understand the growth of peer learning networks—focused fully or in part on CYD—that are emerging across the country. The results were compiled in a brief written for the CYD National Partnership by Ellen Hirzy in January 2020:
Peer learning networks promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas, and promising practices among professionals. Whether formal or informal, they give people a chance to know others who are engaged in similar work with similar challenges. Close interaction with peers can be difficult to find in the nonprofit world, especially for those working in smaller organizations with limited resources. The mutual encouragement and professional growth that happens over time through a peer network can make a profound difference in individuals and their organizations, and ultimately in the youth they serve.
Looking at the broader picture, as peer networks proliferate, collectively they will help to advance the creative youth development field as a whole, including the growth of cross-sector collaboration. This paper describes the benefits of CYD peer learning networks, their structure and function, challenges they face, and attributes that contribute to success. Designed as a reference tool for practitioners, funders, and key stakeholders, it is based on interviews the CYD National Partnership conducted with 11 emergent and sustaining networks around the country. Short profiles of several networks illustrate the diversity and potential of peer learning as a catalyst to creative youth development.
Facilitators of the day’s workshops and discussions included Darren Isom, Partner at The Bridgespan Group, Fatima Muhammad, Director of Youth & Family Solutions at Search Institute, Denise Montgomery, Founder and Principal of CultureThrive, Matt D’Arrigo, Director of Creative Youth Development at Clare Rose Foundation, and Dairrick Khalil Hodges, Director of The SOULcial Workers.
More than 40 local CYD practitioners joined Fatima for a full-day session focused on Search Institute’s pioneering research on building and strengthening meaningful relationships with young people that support their positive development. Participants found great value in the workshop, noting that it validated their daily approaches and gave them language they can use to use to explain and describe their work.
Half-day sessions were also held for Youth and Funders.
Youth leaders came together for a peer-planned workshop, led by Dairrick and members of the San Diego Creative Youth Development Network’s emerging youth council, to identify key factors of equitable youth-adult partnerships and develop tools to activate relationships with adults that enable emerging and existing leaders to work side by side.
Funders engaged in a discussion about disruptive philanthropic strategies to bring more diverse and equitable funding to community-based arts organizations, facilitated by Darren, Denise, and Matt. They examined how collective efforts to shift funding practices can influence and inform the national agenda on CYD, and learn how they can leverage collaboration and work together to maximize impact and achieve goals.
In the evening, a cross-sector audience of CYD stakeholders gathered for a reception and panel discussion led by youth who participate in CYD organizations throughout San Diego County. The conversation centered on power – who has it, who needs it, and how we can share it. Youth also showcased their work through dance, spoken word, music, photography, and video productions, and issued a call to action for CYD professionals to continue examining the ways we center youth voice in our work.
Through the support of the Clare Rose Foundation, San Diego is the first community to implement the National Action Blueprint in its entirety at a local level. The San Diego Creative Youth Development Network has made a commitment to harnessing their collective strength to build the field of Creative Youth Development in order to provide more equitable access to young people in the region.
Join colleagues, collaborators, youth leaders, and distinguished national guests for a day of learning, sharing, and activation.
We know that San Diego is a leader in Creative Youth Development, with organizations coming together to implement the National Blueprint on a local level and continually improving practices to maximize our collective impact. And, we also know there are still many challenges we face as a sector.
This day-long Summit includes trainings and networking opportunities for administrators, teaching artists, youth, board members, funders, and partners to come together to ensure that all young people in San Diego have access to world-class CYD programs.
In February, nearly 40 experienced creative youth development (CYD) practitioners from Southern California gathered at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA to hear from a panel of cross-sector leaders. The event, hosted by the Creative Youth Development National Partnership and moderated by Cynthia Campoy Brophy (ArtworxLA), explored opportunities for collaboration between the creative youth development field and adjacent sectors (e.g., youth development, workforce development, mental health) to achieve positive outcomes for youth. Creative youth development organizations across the country—organizations that are using the arts to encourage positive risk-taking, promote leadership development, and build career pathways—have a vision that overlaps with various youth-oriented sectors. Continue reading “Achieving Positive Outcomes for Youth: CYD and Cross Sector Collaboration”
Last week the Creative Youth Development National Partnership hosted a panel of cross-sector leaders at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California to discuss creative youth development and cross-sector partnerships. Panelists included:
Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager at City of Los Angeles and head of the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department