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Youth Arts Initiative

About the Youth Arts Initiative

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and The Wallace Foundation have partnered to provide innovative, high-quality arts programming for underserved youth that stimulates learning, inspires creativity and encourages self-expression. 

Over the next three years, the Youth Arts Initiative will develop programs based on 10 principles of high-quality arts programming in select Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota. Described in Wallace’s report, Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts, these principles were derived from a study of exemplary arts organizations serving youth, interviews with leading experts in arts education and youth development, and more than 150 interviews with “tweens” about what they want in arts programs. The principles will serve as guideposts for the design of innovative programming for tweens at Boys & Girls Clubs.

In keeping with Wallace’s approach of both delivering local benefits and generating knowledge useful to the field as a whole, Wallace has commissioned an independent evaluation of BGCA’s Youth Arts Initiative from Research for Action in Philadelphia that will be shared with the youth development field.  The aim is to develop evidence about outcomes for participating youth and how organizations can implement quality arts programs.

Wallace’s 10 success principles will serve as the foundation of the Youth Arts Initiative to take Boys & Girls Clubs’ programming to the next level with professional artist guides; newly designed studio spaces; state-of-art equipment and technology; and public, culminating events that recognize talented youth. All programming will be designed and adapted with direct youth input and feedback.

The Youth Arts Initiative’s initial programs were launched at three Boys & Girls Club organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, with more organizations to be added in the coming years.

Click here to read the key findings of the Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts report from The Wallace Foundation.


For more information about the Youth Arts Initiative or to register your child for arts programming, please contact Arts Integration Specialist Katie Ruprecht-Wittrock at or 320-257-5259.