The Shout Syndicate Announces $200K In Grants For Youth Arts Projects In Boston

The Shout Syndicate, after two years of fundraising, announced a pilot program of grants to fund youth arts projects at proven creative youth organizations in Greater Boston. Eight grants ranging from $20-25,000 will be announced mid-August for youth projects implemented through the school year: September 2019 through June 2020.

Grant applications are open now through July 8, 2019 (in all artistic disciplines including dance, theatre, music, comedy, film, media/visual arts) and are available at Priority will be given to community-based creative youth organizations with annual budgets of $2 million or less that employ local teaching artists and work with under-served communities.

Creative youth development organizations that integrate innovative skill-building, inquiry, and expression fueling young people's imaginations and supporting critical learning and life skills, are encouraged to apply. Organizations must be a registered 501c3 non-profit located in Greater Boston, which serve high school youth. Each grant will include a stipend for youth to create a project that will be presented to the public. In 2017 Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh invited members of the entertainment industry to City Hall to discuss one of the elements of Boston Creates, the City's 10-year cultural plan, which had risen to the top as an immediate need: the support of out-of-school youth arts programs. After hearing from non-profit arts organizations that funding mechanisms in this important sector were changing, the administration sought to help identify possible new supports for youth arts projects. From that meeting a handful of volunteer entertainment industry veterans became a new fundraising collective called The Shout Syndicate, and together with The Boston Foundation, have designed the new pilot grant program.

Since forming in 2017, The Shout Syndicate has received donations from concert promoter Don Law/Live Nation, Theo and Paul Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later, director/producer/writer/comedian Judd Apatow, international recording artists The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Ernie Boch, Jr.'s Music Drives Us Foundation, Broadway Across Boston, recording artist Frank Turner, over 100 individual donors, and The Boston Foundation, where the fund is held.

"We are grateful to this community for embracing the youth arts sector," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Boston's entertainment community has always been generous, and no one knows better the power of the arts to transform lives. I look forward to supporting these efforts, alongside our Boston Creates Plan moving forward. It's also imperative that The Shout Syndicate continue to raise money and ask that a next round of donors stand up."

"Arts and cultural after-school programming provides youth with an opportunity for expression and inquiry," says Julia Gittleman, an expert in youth arts programming at MGA Associates, LLC, currently running the pilot granting program with The Shout Syndicate and The Boston Foundation. "Participation in the arts stimulates imagination and creativity; celebrates individuality while building self-esteem; reinforces academic principles and skills; increases problem-solving skills and techniques; encourages a sense of joy, which leads to engagement in learning; and prepares young adults for entering the workforce and increases their chances to compete better in a global economy."

"The funding landscape for creative youth development has changed in recent years," shared Allyson Esposito, Senior Director of Arts and Culture for The Boston Foundation. "The Boston Foundation is glad to support The Shout Syndicate's work and help offer funds for youth arts programs. With continued support, we hope The Shout Syndicate will expand their work into offering workshops, master classes, paths to internships/co-ops, and mentorships for youth."

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston's community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors made $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation launched the ongoing Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe.

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