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  May 2001

The YouthARTS Development Project

Heather J Clawson and Kathleen Coolbaugh


National Evaluation of the YouthARTS Development Project


Youth Arts Public Art

Urban smARTS

Lessons Learned



For Further Information


This Bulletin was prepared under grant number OJP–95–C–006 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

A Message From OJJDP

The arts enrich our culture and our lives immeasurably, but what impact do arts-based programs have in preventing juvenile delinquency? Until recently, there has been little objective evidence available to determine whether youth arts programs enhance participant skills that reduce the risk of involvement in delinquency.

To address this need, the YouthARTS Development Project brought together Federal agencies, national art organizations, and a consortium of local arts agencies to develop and assess arts-based prevention programs for at-risk youth.

OJJDP has provided technical assistance and funding in support of a national evaluation of the YouthARTS Development Project. This Bulletin describes the evaluation and its positive findings for YouthARTS programs in Atlanta, GA; Portland, OR; and San Antonio, TX.

The lessons learned by the Art-at-Work (Atlanta), Youth Arts Public Arts (Portland), and Urban smARTS (San Antonio) programs will help other agencies to improve their arts programs, achieve project goals, and recognize the importance of evaluating arts-based programs for at-risk youth.

Arts-based delinquency prevention programs have a promising future. Objective assessments, such as those featured in these pages, show that we are on the right path toward realizing that future.



Heather J. Clawson is a Senior Associate and Kathleen Coolbaugh is a Principal at Caliber Associates in Fairfax, VA. All photographs in this Bulletin were provided by the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

NCJ 186668

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