About

Launched as the “Coming Up Taller Awards” in 1998, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards have become known as the country’s highest honor for out-of-school-time arts and humanities programs that reach young people with tremendous potential, but limited resources. Over the past 19 years, the award has been presented to 256 outstanding programs in the United States and to 29 organizations internationally, along with a total of $2,850,000 in support. Additionally, 707 Finalists have received a Certificate of Excellence. Beyond serving as a standard-bearer for the field of out-of-school-time arts and humanities programs, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards participated as one of the founders of the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. At the core of these endeavors has been the belief that by shining a light on excellence, we create awareness of and support for the work of the award winners, while showcasing national models and best practices to enhance and build the field at large.

The awards and the effort to advance this unique community of practice would not have been possible without the leadership and support of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This collective recognition on behalf of the federal cultural sector has made a highly visible and powerful statement about the value of Creative Youth Development programs, both nationally and internationally.

Given the closing of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, we find ourselves at the end of the chapter for this program. Alas, as with the saying “All good things must come to an end,” the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards officially closed on December 31, 2017.