The YouthARTS site is designed to give arts agencies, juvenile justice agencies, social service organizations, and other community-based organizations detailed information about how to plan, run, provide training, and evaluate arts programs for at-risk youth.
It is based on the results of a project begun in 1995 to, among other goals, define the critical elements and "best practices" of arts programs designed for at-risk youth populations, to design and test program evaluation methodologies, and to conduct a rigorous evaluation at three pilot sites of the impact of arts programs on adolescent behavior and the risk and protective factors associated with behavioral problems and delinquency.
YouthARTS showed that arts programs really can have an impact on youth. Not only can such programs enhance young peoples' attitudes about themselves and their futures, but the programs also can increase academic achievement and decrease delinquent behavior. This site is intended to show you how.
For more background information about the YouthARTS program, see the main About YouthARTS page.
The YouthARTS Toolkit was originally designed as a print book with a companion
video and diskette. This website was designed to take the kit's information and make it available to the broadest possible audience.
The full book is available as a PDF for downloading, as is each of the main content chapters, but we've taken the essential points in each section and summarized them under the headings at the top of each page (Program Planning, Team Training, etc).
So, you can dive straight into the book for the full picture, or you can read the online summaries for an introduction to planning, running, and evaluating programs for at-risk youth.
In addition, we've provided a list of best practices and a glossary of frequently used terms, as well as appendices that have useful documents, including evaluation forms and sample curricula.
For more about getting the most from YouthARTS, see the full How to Use This Site section.