The Arts and Education
The arts inspire.
There are transformative benefits to youth engagement in arts. Arts foster lifelong creative thinking, expanded career horizons and a commitment to community involvement. The arts boost learning and achievement for students. In addition, engaging our youth in the arts is critical to building future audiences and participants.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver offers free admission to all teens, and dynamic programs solely dedicated to them. MCA’s intensive internship program, Failure Lab, allows a select group of high school students to risk failure while creatively planning programs and events. MCA also hosts Teen Friday Nights, a free drop-in program offering a variety of workshops led by local artists and creatives.
 Room to Rise: The Lasting Impact of Intensive Teen Programs in Art Museums. Danielle Linzer and Mary Ellen Munley. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 2015.
Sources: UCLA. Dr. James Catterall. 1997.
Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art. Catterall, James S. 2009
The arts focus.
Youth on Record, a community-focused nonprofit formed by band members of the Flobots, uses music to help vulnerable students stay in school and graduate. Youth on Record has a unique partnership with Denver Public Schools, Denver Housing Authority, and participating professional musicians. Together they inspire at-risk youth to reengage in their education and graduate—while providing advanced job skills and opportunities in various creative industries.
Intensive, for-credit high school classes are led by a powerful group of culturally relevant, diverse, professional Colorado musicians, all of whom have a passion for working with at-risk and underserved youth in the Denver Metro area. According to Denver Public Schools, the district’s 2012-13 on-time graduation rate was about 61 percent. Through 2013, 85 percent of Youth on Record students boosted their attendance in all classes, and 71 percent improved their grade point average, thus preparing them for a significantly improved graduation rate.