By CommonAction - The youth engagement specialists  



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Youth-Led Art for Social Change



The Freechild Project finds that art and social change movements have always walked hand-in-hand. Across the US and around the world young people are promoting positive, powerful social change through the arts, including dance, graffiti art, and more.


Point to Ponder

"Art is long, life is short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient." - Goethe



The following resources are websites and publications that Freechild's youth researchers have identified to help young people and adult allies use art for social change.


Publications & Websites


The TRIBES Project

A multicultural, youth driven, non-profit organization dedicated to race education through the performing arts. We produce evocative and honest theatre performances as forums for the open discussion of race.  The Tribes Project produces professional youth theatre with high standards of excellence.


The City Kids Foundation

CityKidsí mission is to engage and develop diverse young people to positively impact their lives, their communities and the world. We accomplish that mission through programs that help young people ages 13 to 19 to use their voices for positive change. Young people involved with CityKids; Write and perform their own positive message music, dance and dramatic material; Get their voices heard through youth-driven interactive workshops, grassroots community programs, television appearances, videotapes, books and more.

CityKids uses the arts to engage and train young people in civic action.


Mosaic Voices/ Voices of Youth

Voices of Youth is a series of projects that involve diverse youth in a variety of communities. Through Voices, youth are engaged in the creation of an artistic forum for their own expression while developing mentoring relationships within their community.  Voices of Youth inspires and empowers local youth, fosters ongoing cross-generational dialogues and leads to the development of unique local forms of mentoring.


Urban Youth - Writing for Change


Pongo Publishing

The Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project is a volunteer, non-profit effort with Seattle teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives. We help these young people express themselves through poetry and other forms of writing. In our work we ask the teens to speak from the heart about who they are as people, and the teens often respond by writing about traumatic losses that occurred when they were little children, losses such as the death of a parent, abandonment, neglect, abuse, and a parent's addiction. These traumas from their childhood have left the teens feeling depressed, confused, angry, and prone to substance abuse and destructive acting-out. But the writing process makes a difference.


Underground Railroad

Urban youth in the Bay Area of California to working for systemic social change through the creation and promotion of art and culture. Young artists are empowered to popularize their visions of freedom and social transformation. Underground Railroad is building a vibrant movement that speaks to and involves young people of color as artists and cultural workers, encouraging them to use microphones and megaphones, paintbrushes and picket signs, as leaders in the movement for fundamental social change.


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