Clearinghouse Resource


YouthARTS Toolkit


Americans for the Arts


Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

1995, pages

Description of Resource

Offers detailed instruction on the planning, training, evaluation, and costs/funding resources involved in designing arts programs to reduce problem behavior in at-risk youth groups. The YouthARTS Development Project, a collaborative effort among federal agencies and national arts organizations, uses three local arts agencies in Portland, San Antonio, and Atlanta to launch pilot programs and develop models of "best practices" that can be replicated through the use of this toolkit. Program Planning includes information on assessing organizational capacity, using a planning model, determining risk and protective factors, recruiting collaborators, defining goals, selecting youth participants, and outlining program frequency, staff, family involvement, and public exhibitions. Team Training concentrates on selecting team and artist leaders, developing a curriculum for arts instruction, and outlining program logistics. Evaluation, based on measurement tools, is necessary to determine the value of theprogram and to find assistance for outcomes interpretation and program improvement. Each program needs to come up with methods to assess costs, develop a budget, and advocate for funding. Outcomes from the pilot projects suggest that youth participants in arts programs learn to communicate feelings and opinions constructively, improve task completion skills, decrease delinquent behavior and the need for court referral programs, gain positive attitudes toward school, and display self-confidence and greater resistance to peer pressure. (IP)