New Study Reports Quality Arts Programs Attract Tweens

Several basic principles of quality in an arts education can attract tweens, says a new report by McClanahan Associates and Research for Action. The report documents the efforts of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as it establishes arts programs for the young people.

These principles, including the establishment of high expectations, employment of professional teaching artists and the creation of well-equipped spaces, were described in a 2013 Wallace Foundation commissioned a study that surveyed small, arts-focused organizations. BGCA is working with Wallace to determine whether they can work in a large, multi-faceted national organization.

The new study suggests the principles didn’t just help teach artistic skills but instilled a passion for the arts that kept tween interested long enough to learn and appreciate the skills.

The study, Designing for Engagement: The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative, can be downloaded at

Jenny HershourComment