Youth Arts Initiative
What we did
Many students in America go without a meaningful arts education in school. The Youth Arts Initiative supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as it worked to provide that education outside school. The organization established programs that incorporate 10 principles of success seen in smaller, arts-focused organizations. The goal: to see if a large, multidisciplinary organization could replicate the quality of small, specialized organizations while serving larger numbers of young people.
What we learned
Two reports by Research for Action pointed to success in six clubhouses in the Midwest. The research included interviews with staff members, focus groups with program participants, parents, and club staff members, observation of the arts programs, surveys, and participation and biographic data.
One study found that the clubhouses incorporated all 10 principles of successful arts programs. The second found that students liked the new programs. But the effort cost more than $10 million, too large a sum for most organizations.
A third report found that five other clubhouses established high-quality arts learning experiences by focusing on three of the 10 principles. It also offers promising approaches to help reduce program costs.