What is the 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge?
The 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge (21YCC) is an ArtsSmarts initiative that stimulates, supports and seeds a national series of youth-led projects that engage and enable students in grades 7 to 12 to become active creators of their own future.
Through these projects, based on the ArtsSmarts approach of arts-infused inquiry-based learning, youth will find their passion and develop the skills and competencies required to excel in the 21st Century.
Youth-led project teams from across the country will work in collaboration with their peers and a team of creative/education/community mentors to pursue discoveries through to breakthrough solutions and creative expressions tangibly connected to personally relevant 21st Century challenges.
A particular emphasis will be placed upon collaborative projects that explore issues of identity, social inclusion and community belonging - persistent themes deeply connected to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of our nation.
Within the ArtsSmarts emphasis on sustained creative inquiry, all students actively engaged in 21YCC projects will participate in the arts as a process of learning, following a path of focused research, purposeful analysis, imaginative idea generation, creative expression and public exhibition of ideas and solutions, followed by deep critical reflection on the project process and products achieved.
Each annual round of projects will culminate in a prize for the best realized 21YCC project.
What is the Youth Advisory Committee?
The initiative is coordinated by a volunteer Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) that is made up from Grade 8 to 12 youth who have:
- already engaged with ArtsSmarts projects, and
- want to deepen their involvement in ArtsSmarts projects and strengthen their leadership skills.
YAC consists of 7 youth, 3 adult mentors and the ArtsSmarts' Community Engagement Team who will guide the committee members in their decision making process.
YAC is diverse and represents west, central and eastern Canada. It will meet both face-to-face and virtually as needed. Meeting expenses will be covered by ArtsSmarts.
YAC is responsible forthe 21YCC project framework, including the application, evaluation and selection processes; project branding and marketing. The Committee will also develop the criteria around an annual prize for the best realized 21YCC project.
How do I get involved with the YAC?
If you are in Grade 8 to 12 and interested in getting involved, speak to your teacher who will contact our local partner. For more information about our partners, visit In Your Community.
How does 21YCC work?
ArtsSmarts project proposals will be submitted to the NYAC which will select from 20 to 40 from across Canada. Successful projects will receive seed funding from ArtsSmarts and ArtsSmarts regional partners may also provide assistance for 21YCC projects.
Projects can engage a classroom, a whole grade, or the entire school. Selected projects will see students lead the projects, including research and idea development; developing work plans and, based on their joint refection and assessment, modifying these plans as the project progresses.
Students may choose to nominate their own ArtsSmarts project team leader, to assign a project committee or even to work together as a project planning group. Students will work collaboratively with a teacher-artist team that will act as mentors and facilitators to support each project's successful realization
Students will also be responsible for documenting the progress of their projects by creating various reflection pieces which will record and share their learnings. These pieces, as well as the final project results, will be posted on the ArtsSmarts Open online learning environment. Documentation can be done through interviews, journals, surveys and other creative pieces.
Students are also encouraged to post their reflection pieces on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, school websites and/or blogs.
As with most ArtsSmarts projects, there will be a public exhibition and/or showcase of the work. We will provide templates and examples of invitations and press releases that will assist the students in promoting their showcases so that family, friends and their greater community can participate in the public celebrations of student achievement.
MORE INFORMATION: Contact ArtsSmarts by email
The 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge is funded through a mix of public and private supporters, with lead support from the Youth Take Charge Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Updated: February 28, 2013