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ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION
The Atlanta Arts
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National Arts and Humanities Month
Encouraging Summer and After-School Prevention Programs
Federal Funding for the ARts, Humanitites and Museums
Supporting the NEA's Challenge America Initiative
50th Anniversary of the Local Arts Agencies Movement
Full Funding of Land and Water Conservation Fund and UPARR Programs

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RESOLUTIONS INDEX

ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION

ENCOURAGING SUMMER AND AFTER-SCHOOL PREVENTION PROGRAMS THROUGH THE ARTS FOR YOUTH

WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors convened a National Summit last year on School Violence and Kids from 2:00pm to 8:00pm in Salt Lake City and found that there are more than 28 million children in urban, suburban and rural areas whose parents work outside the home, primarily due to economic necessity. At least five million of these children are "latchkey kids" who come home to an empty house every day after school. Almost 30 percent of all juvenile offenses are committed on school days, between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.; and

WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors specifically made a recommendation in the Action Plan on School Violence and Kids from 2:00pm to 8:00pm to urge mayors and other public leaders at the federal, state and local levels to increase support for arts and music programs because they increase learning skills, help reduce violence and truancy, and give kids a positive outlet for self-expression; and

WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors released the findings of a benchmark study entitled YouthARTS Development Project on effective prevention programs through the arts for youth at its 1999 Winter Meeting; and

WHEREAS, The YouthARTS project was developed as a national test model by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts and the three local arts agencies that served at the test sites in Portland, Ore; San Antonio, Tex; and Fulton County, Georgia; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the test research was to rigorously evaluate, document and disseminate "best practice" models and "lessons learned" of year-around after-school arts and prevention programs specifically designed to work with youth. One of the other primary goals of this project was to ascertain the measurable outcomes of preventing youth from getting involved in delinquent behavior by engaging them in community-based arts programs; and

WHEREAS, the local arts agencies in these three test sites partnered with their local schools and PTAs, juvenile courts, social service agencies, and local arts organizations and artists. Arts programs were targeted for a range of youth ages 11-to-17 with some having previous juvenile records or others demonstrating various identified risk factors. Evaluators established two sets of groups to monitor in each community -- one group consisting of the youth participating in the arts-infused programs and a second "control group" of peers not participating in these arts programs; and

WHEREAS, after three years of rigorous evaluation of these programs and of the youth participants’ academic and juvenile court records, research findings showed that as compared to their respective control groups, the youth participating in these after-school arts programs demonstrated the following four measured outcomes:

    They significantly decreased their frequency of delinquent behavior; They increased their communication skills; They improved their ability to work on tasks from start to finish; and The number of youth experiencing new court referrals was reduced; and

WHEREAS, a comprehensive toolkit has been produced by the YouthARTS Development Project and is being disseminated by Americans for the Arts to help communities across the nation design or customize effective prevention programs through the arts for their youth,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon all levels of government – federal, state, and local -- to offer or enhance more summer and after-school prevention programs through the arts for children and youth in cities.

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