Research suggests that the arts can have a positive impact on youth development, from birth through adolescence.

For example, Menzer (2015) found that that engaging in various arts activities (such as singing, dancing, play acting, and doing crafts) at a young age is associated with positive social and emotional behaviors, including empathy, sharing, and mood control.


Similarly, a series of longitudinal data analyses sponsored by the USA National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) examined the potential impact of arts engagement (such as taking arts courses or participating in a school band or choir) on education related outcomes for children and teenagers from low-socioeconomic-status neighborhoods. The study found that, among children and teenagers from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, those with high levels of arts engagement showed more positive outcomes on indicators such as school grades, test scores, and high-school graduation rates, compared with youths with low levels of arts engagement (Catterall, Dumais, and Hampden-Thompson 2012). 



Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture

The Lab seeks to help young arts and culture leaders create an environment where new ideas are constantly created, shared, evaluated and the best ones are successfully put to work.

One of the toughest challenges for any young arts leader is getting traction for new ideas. Winning support can be a struggle. As a result, powerful new ideas often get stuck. This is especially true in the cultural sector. Young people involved in arts and culture often have little time and even less money for experimentation and risks. This Center seeks to develop responses to help those in the performing arts, museums, zoos, libraries and other cultural organizations build environments where new management and program ideas are created, shared, evaluated and the best ones are successfully put to work.

Our "Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture" program trains art teams how to make an "innovation strategy" a fundamental component of their organization's overall strategy:

  • Analyze constraints on innovation in your organization, foresee obstacles and opportunities, and develop a shared vision
  • Develop a process to manage the demands of multiple stakeholders, shifting priorities and the uncertainty inherent in new initiatives
  • Create a culture for innovation and risk-taking that generates new perspectives and challenges existing practice
  • Create a strong customer focus within your organization that anticipates customer needsArts education is often said to be a means of developing critical and creative thinking.


CICAC promotes KNOWLEDGE SHARING, networking and financial independence for individual artists and creative entrepreneurs by providing business training, grants and INCUBATING INNOVATIVE PROJECTS that create new program knowledge, tools and practices for artists in the field.