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Multi-Year Creative Youth Development Grants Available through YouthReach

Erik Holmgren, Program Manager

6 masked young people stand behind 3 masked kneeling young people. Their arms are making various gestures of happiness and high energy. Behind them various works on paper are hanging from a dark blue painted wall.
Clubhouse-to-Career interns at The Flagship Clubhouse in Roxbury in August 2021. Photo credit: Susan Klimczak.

We are pleased to announce that Mass Cultural Council will be accepting applications for YouthReach grants this fall.

YouthReach is the longest, continual funding stream for Creative Youth Development (CYD) work in the United States. Mass Cultural Council has invested more than $15 million in CYD programs in the arts, humanities, and science through YouthReach since its inception in 1994.

YouthReach is a key component of Mass Cultural Council’s goal to empower a creative generation.

Program guidelines are currently available. The online application opens October 19, 2021. Application are due December 16, 2021. Successful applicants to YouthReach will receive funding for a three-year period (FY23-25) beginning in the fall of 2022. Grants are currently $22,000 per year and are subject to allocations from the State Legislature each year. A list of key dates is below.

This cycle we are proud to be utilizing a new, national framework for Creative Youth Development programs that YouthReach-funded programs were an integral part of developing.

In support of our applicants we will be offering:

  • Information sessions (October 19 and October 20) outlining the key components of the application and highlighting the practices of successful applicants.
  • Workshops on the creation of logic models.
  • Opportunities, in partnership with EdVestors, for YouthReach applicants to engage with a design and evaluation consultant at no cost. For more information, learn more about Julia Gittleman and her office hours.

Key Dates

  • October 19, 2021: Online application opens
  • December 16, 2021: Application deadline
  • February 2022: Interviews and site visits scheduled for applying organizations
  • February – May 2022: Site visits and interviews take place
  • May 2022: YouthReach panels meet
  • August 2022: FY23 awards announced (anticipated)

Sunsetting SerHacer

In 2014 Mass Cultural Council launched SerHacer, a funding program that was the first public support system for El Sistema-inspired work in the United States. Since then, we have worked with organizations, teaching artists, and youth to support the development of youth development practices within these programs. Over the past two grant cycles what has become abundantly clear is that El Sistema-inspired work, at its core, is about youth development through ensemble music-making. As such, we are merging our SerHacer program with YouthReach, beginning this year (FY22). In recent cycles, SerHacer has used almost identical guidelines, review criteria, and reporting practices as YouthReach, so applicants will find this year’s YouthReach application process similar to what they have done in the past. The Johnson String Project will continue to provide instruments, maintenance, and insurance to string-based programs at no cost and we will continue to convene the rich community of Creative Youth Development programs together over the next several years.

Read the Program Guidelines

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