|AT-RISK YOUTH BENEFIT FROM ARTS PROGRAMS
Research shows arts programs can help decrease young people's involvement in delinquent behavior, increase academic achievement and improve their attitudes toward themselves and their future.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Bill Ivey recently announced the results of the YouthARTS Development Project, which gathered statistics on how arts programs enhance a child's development.
Researchers found young people in the project increased their ability to express anger appropriately, to communicate effectively with adults and peers, and to work cooperatively to resolve conflicts. They also found a decrease in frequency of delinquent behavior and fewer new court referrals when they compared youth in the program with those who did not participate.
"The National Endowment for the Arts is very pleased to have provided the initial funds for this project, which has successfully demonstrated that the arts can help our youth at risk," Ivey said. "Participation in the arts can be a positive, engaging vehicle that sparks the imagination of our children, making a difference in their lives and deterring them from violence and drugs."
The study was a collaborative effort of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, Oregon; Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta, Georgia; the Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs, San Antonio, Texas; the National Endowment for the Arts; the U.S. Department of Justice; and Americans for the Arts.
A grant of $172,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts leveraged additional federal and local dollars to support the project. Additional funding was provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and Metropolitan Life Foundation.
A 150-page handbook, two videos and a computer diskette are available to guide communities in the creation, administration and evaluation of effective arts programs for youth. To learn more about the YouthARTS Development Project or to obtain a tool kit, contact Americans for the Arts at 202/371-2830.
More Americans are participating in the arts, according to a National Endowment for the Arts survey. During a 12-month period, half the U.S. adult population, or 97 million people, attended at least one of seven arts activities: jazz, classical music concerts, opera, musical plays, plays, ballet or art museums.
URBAN GROWTH CAN BE TOO COSTLY
Too often, retail-based economic growth booms on the urban perimeter, creating thousands of jobs in the absence of housing that workers can afford, causing commuter congestion while displacing productive farmland, consuming public infrastructure dollars and pulling the market away from existing urban businesses and communities.
In a full cost/benefit analysis, the costs of economic growth can outweigh the benefits.
The goals of development are broader, so benefits are more widely spread. A start-up company in the central city may create fewer jobs than retail development on the perimeter, but is likely to hire locally because of small size, to grow with the community over time and to create income that circulates throughout the local economy.
Mixed-use urban developments that include housing are even better. They have the potential to attract new residents who bring new income, shop locally, attend local churches and whose kids go to local schools.
New jobs are created and the income of those jobs has a good chance of staying in the community, with broad spin-off benefits. The project itself may bring residents and businesses together for planning, introducing people to each other and strengthening local relationships.
Benefits go beyond jobs. Economic growth is coupled with appropriately priced housing, with existing services and may remove blight, boost business for local firms and re-use existing infrastructure.
In a full cost-benefit analysis, the benefits of development, even with fewer jobs, can outweigh the costs.
In the past two years, the Ohio Arts Council has joined 37 other organizations to offer a speakers series called Growing Inward that focuses on the partnering of growth and development.
Walter Kulash will speak April 21 at noon at the Columbus Athletic Club, 136 East Broad Street, as part of the series. Kulash, a senior traffic engineer with an Orlando-based community planning firm, specializes in the emerging field of livable traffic design. He will discuss balancing traffic performance with other desired qualities of the street such as its value as an address, its retail friendliness and its role as a premiere public space of the community. For reservations call the Metropolitan Club reservation line, 614/841-8742.
This newsletter aims to keep Ohio's
decision makers informed about the
work of the state's arts agency.
vWe'd like this to be a two-way
street. If you have comments about
the OAC's involvement in your
District or area of expertise please
send them to Beth Fisher at the
address below. Thanks for reading.
The Ohio Arts Council, a state
agency established in 1965, builds
the state through the arts -
economically and culturally -
preserving the past, enhancing the
present and enriching the future for
all Ohioans. The Council believes
the arts should be shared by the
people of Ohio. The arts arise from
public, individual and organizational
efforts. The OAC supports those
Ohio Arts Council
727 E. Main Street
Colbumus, OH 43205-1796