Creative Young Leaders Alliance

A powerful leadership-development program that draws on the methods behind the Aspen Seminar tradition, the Creative Young Leaders Alliance aims to mobilize young artists who are deeply engaged in their communities to work across sectors strengthening the social, physical, and economic fabrics of the communities in which they live.

Throughout the year in cities around the country, CYLA seminars entitled “Leadership, the Arts, and the Good Society,” are offered in partnership with local youth arts organizations. One or two participants from each city are then selected to travel to Aspen for further seminar training and attendance at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Participants have been drawn from the National Student Poets program, winners from the Young Chicago Authors poetry slam competition “Louder than a Bomb,” Urban Word in New York, and Youth Speaks in San Francisco.

College-bound alumnae of the summer seminar have the opportunity to work further with the Arts Program as Civic Practice Scholars, in which capacity they serve as formal representatives of the Arts Program, online and in person, for one year. They share their art and continued thinking on their roles as artists in society through a monthly blog and regular social media presence. They also engage as mentors for new students taking part in the seminar.