Last week, 135 members of San Diego’s leading creative youth development organizations gathered at The San Diego Foundation to attend the San Diego Creative Youth Development (CYD) Summit.

The summit, sponsored by The San Diego Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, was the region’s first cross-sector convening focused on the potential for community programs, afterschool programs and workforce development to reach the community’s goals through inclusion of arts and humanities.

Keynote speakers included Denise Montgomery, co-author of The Wallace Foundation’s novel Something to Say report, and Bill Strickland, MacArthur Fellowship winner and founder of Pittsburgh’s influential Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

The summit also held 10 different breakout sessions for attendees. Ninety-eight percent of survey participants say they gained knowledge from the summit and would attend a similar event and/or recommend a similar event to a colleague.

10 Key Takeaways

One question was posed to attendees: What three take-home action items are you committed to help progressing through your networks?

The following is a list of the top 10 responses:

  1. Committing to attending meetings with non-arts organizations to bring our mission to their table and create partnerships
  2. Digging deeper into our programs to possibly discover those that may have life-altering impacts and growing these programs so more youth can participate
  3. Infusing the arts in our afterschool programs – from STEM to STEAM
  4. Promoting Balboa Park’s free museum days to further connections and understanding of art
  5. Continuing to strengthen and forge new partnerships with schools that work with underserved students to provide more opportunities in the arts
  6. Orienting organizational language and messaging to youth instead of adults
  7. Committing to making art lessons more conceptually challenging and culturally relevant
  8. A commitment from one participant to make his/her own ‘tween’ son’s life more culturally engaging
  9. Establishing new mentoring programs and seeking ‘experts from the field’ to work with their students
  10. Spreading the words of Bill Strickland: “Beautiful environments create beautiful children. Environment drives outcomes”

Learn More

During the summit, Bill Strickland spoke about the positive impact an environment can have in a student’s life. He said “Environment drives behavior. Beautiful environments create beautiful kids. Prisons create prisoners.”

To learn more about Strickland’s personal influence in creative youth development, the success of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and his teaching philosophies, watch his speech today.

Watch the Video