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Youth Arts Initiative

This initiative supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in developing a sustainable and scalable model of arts programming in multipurpose, out-of-school-time organizations.
Children with their art projects.

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.

Our Grantee Partners

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley

Children's Aid NYC


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