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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Youth Development

Mission: Create Now is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps youth find their voices through arts mentoring and education.

Results: Create Now has reached over 36,000 of the most troubled youth in Southern California during the last 20 years.

Target demographics: We serve vulnerable kids ages 2-21 who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned, are left homeless, runaways, teen parents, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence, children of prisoners, gang members or incarcerated. These forgotten children have fallen through the cracks of the system. They live in emergency shelters, rehab centers, detention camps and foster group homes, under the radar of the public eye. In addition, Create Now teaches arts education to disadvantaged at-risk youth in Title 1 schools.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 3,000 of the neediest youth in the region

Geographic areas served: All of Southern California - Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, Santa Barbara

Programs: Music, Visual Arts, Writing, Fashion, Digital Media, Performing Arts, Cultural Journeys

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Create Now has provided invaluable help and support to children and youth that are in real need. Since I met Jill and had the opportunity to learn more about the organization I felt a special desired to help in any way I could. Its mission and the outreach is remarkable and makes me feel proud to have the privilege to serve in such a great organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Create Now is one of LA's best kept secrets. It has served countless numbers of underprivileged and at-risk youth in the Greater LA community for 20 years and has CHANGED LIVES through the arts.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As soon as I first learned about Create Now, I was so impressed at how much this non-profit helps kids overcome adversity. Kids in tough circumstances are given the chance to discover new interests and passions in the arts that they otherwise likely wouldn't have the chance to learn about. This has so many positive effects and the numerous success stories that have come out of Create Now's programs prove that again and again. It's an incredible organization.

5 Ed__25

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm so impressed with this organization's work that I joined the Board of Directors! I've met a number of young adults whose lives were positively impacted by Create Now, in some cases many years ago. Executive Director Jill Gurr has worked diligently to make a difference in the lives of at-risk kids over the past 19 years since she founded Create Now. These "forgotten children" are in foster homes, runaway shelters, inner-city schools, institutions and more. Create Now gets them out to paint murals, take guitar lessons or digital media workshops, create fashion shows, attend concerts at Disney Hall, Cirque performances and more.

The Board is now growing the organization to expand on Jill's important work. Create Now is only filling a small fraction of the need in the greater LA area, which has the largest number of homeless and institutionalized children of any city in the US. Create Now is giving these children love and attention at a critical time in their lives. Kudos to Create Now!

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am really impressed with the important work that Create Now is doing under the direction of Jill Gurr. One of the facilities that we visited had a closed ward - children who are essentially locked up. Jill had them collaborating on painting murals. These kids are the forgotten ones. A little well-placed attention could literally save their lives or steer them away from a lifetime of crime. Unfortunately there are very few programs like Create Now that are entering these facilities and doing this work on a regular basis. Jill knew all the kids and staff by name. She and her crew of staff and volunteers have devoted their lives to helping these children and deserve greater support. That is why I agreed to chair the Create Now Board.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Create Now is an organization that is changing lives right here in Los Angeles by bringing the most under-served communities of young people in direct contact with the thriving arts and creative industries that make Southern California famous. In a time of declining arts budgets in public education, Create Now mobilizes volunteers from the arts community to mentor and educate those young people that can benefit most from a creative outlet. Seeimg first hand the level of engagement and interest that arts programming and hands on learning can bring is both heartwarming and a reminder of how important the right mentors can be in each of our lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CreateNow really serves a critical need in the community by bringing arts programs to the forgotten children in LA and OC. I have witnessed first-hand the power that artistic self-expression has on some of these kids, who have been hearing 'no, you can't do this' their entire life. When a foster kid is able to express themselves in a safe environment, their self-esteem skyrockets. It is truly extraordinary work that CreateNow is doing, and why I have committed to being a board member.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I moved to Los Angeles I started spending time learning about the local education system and the limited programs in creative arts within schools as well as the gap in the system for at-risk youth. In the large city of LA, at-risk includes 30,000 kids. Creative arts are an area of not just education but of self expression, helping with communication, critical thinking, empathy, positive association and confidence which are lacking in the lives of at-risk youth. Create Now aims to address this through several incredibly successful programs. The 12-week programs from creative writing to dancing to guitar lessons have proven very impactful and positive. Jill Gurr has countless stories of these youth coming back to thank Create Now for the long-term impact their experience had and how the programs had a ripple effect on their lives and making positive decisions in school, work, family and choosing to contribute to their communities as well. It has been a wonderful experience having involvement with Create Now and working with the other Board Members on expanding the reach of the programs and ensuring its future success!

1 Mark S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been Chairman of the Board, on the board, organized benefits and performed in benefits- all for Create Now. But most importantly, I've worked one on one in my studio and at every detention camp in the LA area with the kids- those kids whose eyes light up when they get a glimpse of the possibility of their potential and who they can be because of artistic influence. I've watched the transformation first hand, mentoring kids whose lives change in a moment, affected by the love, motivation and impact of adults and role models who provide a vehicle of transcendence for them beyond what they have known into what they now know can exist for them. This is what the artistic mentoring and programs can continue to do, but only with your continued support of Create Now...

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a presenter who has done dozens of presentations for kids in detention camps all over the Los Angeles area, I can say that I have helped reshape many kids' lives. These events were all facilitated by Create Now! Imagine what it feels like to see immediate attitude shifts in many of these incarcerated kids and then bring some of these kids into my recording studio and actualize their creative dreams. Feel free to contact me to have me play you some music that these kids have created. This is all because of Create Now.

Board Member

Rating: 5

With major budget cuts to social services and education, art was the first to get cut. People need to understand how art and creative thinking empowers all youth and Create Now does an exceptional job with very limited resources to engage at-risk youth that have no outlets to feel empowered and to fully express themselves. Creative skills are a must in our competitive world and the programs at Create Now are addressing multiple needs and gaps, primarily with underrepresented youth.

Jill as the ED has been its driving force and it's a labor of love for her because she truly understands how this impacts our community and has experienced the transformation in our youth's lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When you hear about the transformational work that Create Now does with youth at need through creative arts, you want to help. It's amazing to hear all the stories from Jill Gurr about the lives they've transformed. In a time when we are losing our arts due to budget cuts, Create Now provides the most innovative and hands on workshop to our community.