Every Friday, the local nonprofit hosts “Volunteer Takeover Fridays,” offering a variety of arts programming, including fashion design, cooking, music and even TikTok dances. Create Now’s mission is to empower at-risk and high-risk youth and young adults ages 3 to 24 through a variety of arts programs in multiple disciplines to help them heal and thrive. Its highest goal is to assist them to get out of poverty and into jobs and careers.
“The arts are therapeutic, and this is a time when kids and people of all ages need healing,” says founder and CEO Jill Gurr. “With Create Now’s new livestream sessions and performances, we’re helping families to cope, learn new skills, build their confidence and bond with loved ones.”
In May, there were seven 30-minute classes a day, starting at the top of every hour between noon and 6:30 p.m.
In the face of the coronavirus, Create Now is especially reaching out to foster, homeless and incarcerated youth. Many young people from the more than 100 shelters, group homes and transitional living facilities in its network are enjoying private Zoom classes in everything from origami to dance.
Once safer-at-home orders are lifted, Gurr says the organization looks forward to partnering with companies to provide arts education and mentoring for children and youth in need. Since its founding in 1996, the nonprofit has served more than 49,000 young people through programs in the arts.