Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Arts & Youth Development in Action | Young Men and Mosaics

As I have written and spoken about many times before, youth development is a simple concept to understand but, for some reason, it is very difficult to fully integrate its practices at a program or organizational level. I think it's because it requires that we as adults really look at our own stuff and work through our blocks around what young people are capable of. We have to not be afraid to let them go out there and do real work that has a real effect on the world. At the same time, we have to set very clear boundaries with very high standards for them to operate in. This balance of freedom and structures is hard for us to implement with young people because we often struggle to find this balance in our own lives.

I love when I see dead on examples of what positive youth development really looks like in practice. I often find that the most effective programs are related to arts. And it's not just my bias. Check out this video. It's about a community arts project involving young men creating mosaics in juvenile hall in Baltimore. It runs about 12 minutes...

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