How do you get young people to express themselves? How do you encourage them to think creatively? And in what ways can you create space for them to share the results? Creative Action has some compelling answers.

The Austin, Texas-based nonprofit’s programs equip kids with the tools to build healthy relationships, successful careers and active roles in their communities. But gentrification has its foot on the scale in Austin, and white kids have better access to Creative Action than children of color. Funders need to commit not just to investing their money into beneficent organizations like Creative Action, but doing so in amounts commensurate with the scale of impact gentrification has wrought.

Though the organization primarily works with school age children, it also serves the greater Austin community. There’s arts-based social and life-skills classes for young adults with Asperger’s or mild to moderate autism, and creative writing/storytelling for seniors wishing to unlock their latent artist within. In a city that’s rapidly gentrifying, Creative Action partners with the local cultural preservation organization to develop creative placemaking strategies that uphold the area’s hard-fought African-American identity.

Creative Action transforms the way kids think, feel and act through art skills development. If it were to have all the resources it needed, it would identify high-need schools without the discretionary funds to host them and bring more of their programming to those locations.

Greater funding would also mean increased compensation and benefits for Creative Action employees, thus making arts education a viable career path for Austin-based teachers and artists. Creative Action alone won’t stop the demographic shifts within its city, but funders can make sure the organization has the resources to better stick with children of color when they are displaced.

Read the full article about Creative Action by Troy Price at The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.