Clawson, H. and Coolbaugh, K,. (2001). YouthARTS Development Project Program Evaluation. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs: Juvenile Justice Bulletin. May 2001.
Author Affiliations: Caliber Associates, Fairfax, VA
Artforms: The project’s three sites included
● Atlanta: ceramics, computer graphics, drama, furniture design and application, mosaics, photography
● Portland: drama, photography, poetry, printmaking, videography
● San Antonio: creative writing, dance, drama, storytelling, visual arts
Program: YouthARTS Development Project
● Atlanta: Art-at-Work provided one group of truant youth aged 14 to 16 with art instruction, job training, and literacy education over a 2-year period.
● Portland: youth produced and administered a public arts project from design to production and public exhibition.
● San Antonio: after-school arts education program for youth at 7 schools.
Program (Study) Location:
● Atlanta, Georgia: Art-at-Work/Fulton County Arts Council
● Portland, Oregon: Youth Arts Public Art/Regional Arts and Culture Council
● San Antonio, Texas: Urban smARTS/San Antonio Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs
Study Published: May 2001
● Atlanta: truant youth first-time offenders aged 14-16 referred by probation officers
● Portland: adjudicated youth (excluding sex-offenders) aged 14-16 referred by probation officers
● San Antonio: non adjudicated, at-risk youth aged 10-12 referred by teachers, principals and self-referrals
● Atlanta: 15 participants per program period; 7 in participant group and 10 in control group completed evaluation
● Portland: 15 youth per unit per session; findings provided for 21
● San Antonio: 60 youth at each of 7 schools; five schools participated in evaluation, complete data available for 22-112 participants
Data Type: Qualitative: Cross-site evaluation using participant and probation officer/caseworker feedback, skill assessment instruments, focus group interviews, academic data, court data. Data collected pre- and post-program on participants and control group.
● Outcome component of evaluation assessed program effects on art knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of participants
● Process component looked at program implementation and operations
Summary of Impact: Separate evaluations were completed at each of the three sites:
○ 85.7% of youth were communicating effectively with peers at the end of the program, up from 28.6% at the beginning of the program.
○ Program participants had, on average, fewer court referrals during the program period than the non-arts comparison group (1.3 and 2.0 respectively). This despite the fact that arts program participants had, on average more court referrals than the comparison group at the start of the program (6.9 and 2.2 referrals, respectively).
○ 50% of program participants had committed new offenses during the program period versus 78.6% in the control group.
○ 100% of program participants demonstrated an ability to cooperate with others at the end of the 12-week program versus 43% at the start of the program
○ 31.6% of program participants’ attitude towards school improved compared with 7.7% in the comparison group.
○ 22% of program participants had a new court referral compared with 47% of comparison group.
○ The level and type of offense committed during the program period were less severe than prior offenses.
● San Antonio:
○ 85% of participants were able to work on tasks from start to finish at the end of the program versus 72% at the beginning.
○ 82% demonstrated the skills necessary to produce quality artwork up from 65% at the start of the program.
○ 16.4% of the arts program participants had a decrease in delinquent behavior compared with 3.4% of the control group.
KEYWORDS: ceramics, computer graphics, creative writing, dance, drama, entrepreneurial skills, furniture design and application, juvenile, life skills, mosaics, photography, poetry, printmaking, prosocial skills, storytelling, videography, visual arts, vocational skills, youth, YouthARTS Development Project