SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Youth Speaks, the country's leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word performance, education and youth development programs, is pleased to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation invested $1.1 million to help launch the Future Corps Fellowship Program, a five-year initiative that will cultivate 22 emerging arts leaders as part of the Brave New Voices Network Initiative (BNVI).
The Future Corps Fellowship program directly invests in the next generation of arts leadership by providing full-time, two-year fellowships, including health care, to a total of 22 emerging leaders over five years from the Brave New Voices Network.
In August 2014, Youth Speaks launched the Brave New Voices Network Initiative (BNVI) – a multi-year initiative dedicated to building a sustainable, national field of nonprofit organizations that intersect arts education and youth development practices with a deep focus on long-term civic engagement and public presentation. 17 organizations nationwide have been selected to participate in the inaugural Leadership Cohort. For the next three years, these organizations each are receiving targeted investments in their organizational development and sustainability, including cash grants and ongoing capacity-building trainings. In addition, eight of these organizations will receive Future Corps Fellows staffing support.
The grant received from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation makes it possible for Youth Speaks to implement the fellowship program and provide critical staffing to the Leadership Cohort. "The support from the Mellon Foundation allows us to provide support that organizations in our field desperately need. By launching the Future Corps Fellowship program, we can also directly invest in our field's future leaders," notes James Kass, Founder and Executive Director of Youth Speaks. "We are thankful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for providing this visionary support, which will not only impact the organizations in our Leadership Cohort but the field of performing arts and arts education as well."
Growing out of one of the most progressive movements for young people in the country, focusing on the development and application of voice as a tool for personal transformation and social change, the Future Corps Fellowship program has been designed to complement and expand upon the seasonal BNV Festival Future Corps program, established to provide hands-on leadership opportunities for BNV alumni at the Brave New Voices Festival (as seen on HBO).
Fellows will receive training and mentorship by Youth Speaks in five key areas of nonprofit business: leadership, marketing and communications, programming, fundraising, and finance and operations. Each Fellow will be hosted at a BNVI Leadership Cohort organization in one the following locations: Rapid City, SD; Detroit, MI; Sacramento, CA; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Houston, TX; Washington, D.C. or Chicago, IL.
About Youth Speaks
Founded in 1996, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, and more. Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day and after school, and provides numerous publication and youth development programs.
For more information about BNVI or to apply to FCF, please visit http://youthspeaks.org/bravenewvoices/future-corps/.
Media Contact: Juan Rivera
Director of Marketing & Communications
SOURCE Youth Speaks