How the program works

The core constituency for Vital New Voices are students in fourth grade through high school. The program draws on the energies of youthful creativity, artistic discipline, and community engagement. Each is worthwhile; together, they can achieve meaningful impacts that extend beyond the sum of the parts.

The program has four fundamental facets:

  1. Engagement of young people with the arts.
  2. Encouragement and support for all artistic genres and forms of expression.
  3. Thematic focus on issues of social change .
  4. Measurable impact.

Every community will have its own customized approach based on a common framework of program elements.

  • Community-based partner organizations that can provide logistic, communication, staffing and programming support.

  • Volunteer artists who train students in their chosen arts genre such as visual arts, music, theater, dance/movement, poetry, or video. 

  • Groups of young artists who take on topics related to creating a better world.  They could explore matters of respect, education, diversity and inclusion, leadership, violence, empathy, bullying, or climate cite just a few possibilities.

  • Small teams of students, community volunteers, and artists who create works of art that reflect their hopes for the future related to the chosen topics.  These works can use a single art form or multiple forms.

  • The performance and display of the works at a public event with an engaged audience of citizens who watch, listen and learn. It’s likely to be as entertaining as it is purposeful.

  • Following the display/performance, facilitated discussion between the young artists and event attendees. 

  • A public commitment by each adult participant to take positive action in their lives and community for a specific aspect of a topic or even a group of problems.