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The Summit – Site Visits

Saturday morning, take a break from the hard work of crafting policy and join your colleagues to visit model youth programs in the area. Participate in workshops and discussions around familiar challenges and innovative responses. Each site visit is designed to pair the host organization with another model from elsewhere in the country.

Each participant is asked to select one site visit:

Creative Youth Development and Social Enterprise
Visit Artists for Humanity (AFH) and their EpiCenter and learn about their social enterprise program model, which fuses youth arts education, paid apprenticeship in creative industries, academic supports, and multi-layered mentorship to steward underresourced teens to multiple pathways to success. Also, meet staff from RiverzEdge Arts Project in Woonsocket, RI, to learn how the AFH model has been tested and adapted in other locations and contexts. Also discussed will be strategies to engage young people in broader environmental sustainability and creative placemaking efforts.

Collective Impact = Collaborative Fundraising + Collective Advocacy
Visit ZUMIX in lively East Boston, dedicated to youth and community development through music. Tour their converted firehouse, hear some of their young artists perform, and learn about their involvement in the Hunt Alternative Fund’s Artwork for Kids, a collaborative fundraising coalition that also works to advocate for increased public support for the field. Hear from Ambassador Swanee Hunt, founder and chair of Hunt Alternatives Fund, about her experience in developing and supporting this coaltion. And, hear from staff at DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts) about their involvement with a coalition of young arts organizations.

Two Sides of the Same Coin
Hyde Square Task Force is a community organizing agency in Boston that uses the arts to engage young people, and DreamYard is an arts organization in the Bronx that engages its young people in community organizing. Both have been recognized by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and both are seen in their communities as essential resources. What is similar in these two models? What is different? What is applicable to your setting? Come and find out, while visiting Boston’s Latin quarter. Experience dance, music, and theater, and hear from young people trained to deliver essential arts programming to the community.

Young People as Engaged, Activist Citizens
Tour the Central Square Theater in Cambridge and see how four different youth programs working in different disciplines and media in the arts and humanities work to inspire young people to create work that deepens understanding in social justice and engages the broader community in civic discourse. Participants include the Community Art Center, Cambridge Community Television, Central Square Theater, and New-York Historical Society. During the session, examples of work in video, theater, public art, and community events will be shared and conversation among all participants will focus on shared challenges and lessons learned.