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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

113 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Tracy and I adore Create Now!!! I am a consultant and my first contact with Create Now was meeting the Founder, Jill who's passion is contagious. However, when I attended one of their signature events "The Power of the Arts," I saw first hand the amazing work. I got a chance to speak with the kids and hear their stories, fill their relief that Create Now gave them and see hope and transition in their eyes. This is the best program of it's kind in the Greater Los Angeles area. I am now a member of the board where I play a role in making sure Create Now can continue to help kids who lack the love and support of family and for most, sometimes a warm place to lay their heads.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hello, I am Sarah and I am on the board of Create Now. I met Jill, the founder, a year go and her passion for the foster kids reflected in her speech and her vision. I gladly jumped on board and I feel the same and drive to help our youth in the county of Los Angeles. Jill has been working on changing the children's world by setting up so many events for the children to create all kind form of arts. This is a non-profit organization worth supporting. Thank you.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Create Now is one of the best-kept secret organizations in LA. I have seen first hand how Create Now has profoundly touched so many kids' lives by allowing them the freedom and safety to express themselves in ways that they never thought possible. Create Now provides opportunities for children who have largely been written off by society to discover and explore their own humanity and learn ways to make a positive impact to the world by telling their stories through the arts. These discoveries lead to hope - that hope leads to new paths and opportunities for these kids which in turn improves academic performance and reduces incarceration and homeless rates. I can't say enough positive things about this 20+ year old organization and I have dedicated myself to making sure that its mission can thrive and expand.

Yifan S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a USC student doing volunteer internship at Create Now. I do the research work , and i attend the internal meetings in the organisation. I can tell how passionate the board members and the people who voluntarily contribute their time and efforts to this organisation are. Particularly, the founder Ms. Jill Gurr is incredibly amazing. She wholeheartedly dedicates herself to Create Now , and you can tell how she desperately wants to let everyone help those foster kids in DTLA, who are very much underrepresented in media in LA and across the United States. It is really hard to imagine that even Los Angeles, a city of glamour, has so many at-risk kids who are abandoned by their parents and who can only sleep on the streets. This organisation makes me to realise this striking fact, and i am so touched to see that Create Now is working so hard to try to help those foster kids through arts education, arts activities and providing them with career opportunities. Jill works so hard and it seems that she never takes a rest. She also cares about our internship experience a lot. She said she hopes her interns to learn and to get some from the experience, so that after i go back to China, i can also apply what i learned to helping the foster kids in China as well. I am very touched by Jill and other members at Create Now, because they all firmly share the same goal and mission, and they spare no efforts to help it grow so that more and more at-risk kids at LA can be helped.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Create Now is simply amazing . They have exposed my youth to opportunities that have opened their minds and hearts to the Arts . My youth have had the opportunity to experience Ballet , attend beautiful museums, enjoy live theater, attend sporting events , and create their own art . This organization truly reduces risk factors and creates windows of hope for so many children. Exposing at risk youth to the Arts opens up so much opportunity for self expression and growth. I have witnessed my group blossom and learn to appreciate all forms of art. My group of awesome young people are currently taking keyboard, guitar and dance lessons all because of the commitment Create Now has to changing the lives of youth and exposing them to Art . For many Art is the one thing that gives them Hope . You have not attended a Party until you have attended a Power of the Arts Party , it is full of color ,energy, amazing talent and creativity . It is a festival of the Arts , that reminds young people that the world is bright and full of opportunity with their name on it . Create Now , is a great organization they do not get caught up in numbers or finances , they truly care about the young person , the whole person . They understand that for many at risk youth exposure to the Arts equals Hope and a bright future . If the world had more organizations like Create Now , we would have rainbows of Hope on a daily basis.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered and taught creative writing through Create Now many times over the last six years. I'm always blown away by their reach and the breadth of the programming they offer -- from publishing to filmmaking to art and dance. Really amazing.
Their programs are well-planned with tangible goals and results. And, for volunteers, the time commitment can be as little as one evening. That's great for their volunteers who are usually busy in their own creative careers.

1 Russell11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Create Now for over three years, most recently joining the Special Event/Fundraising Committee. I first started out as a volunteer at the many open house events Create Now hosts. I was blown away when kids opened up on their own about their lives, family situations etc. The safe environment established by Create Now allows for the children to feel comfortable and share their story on their own terms. In one instance a teenager had written a script about his experience being torn away from his parents and siblings to be placed in foster care. I since have been working with him to develop the script, but more so as a mentor. He and I still meet once to twice a month and recently his eldest brother, who he now lives with, personally gave me a call to thank me for all that I am doing. He told me that the time I spend with his brother is more helpful than any therapy or program out there.

Create Now is a charity that focuses on helping the forgotten youth of the underprivileged - IE foster care children. There are many charities that help underprivileged youth in Los Angeles, but foster care children are many times overlooked by such charities. Create Now focuses on these children, all the while still including any underprivileged youth that comes their way.

Create Now is special because they do not force anything or have an agenda other than helping show children that they are creative, special and can do anything they want to do - especially in the arts.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen the children open up through the medium of art, wether it was acting, creating videos, learning how to play the drums or doing arts and crafts. This creative and fun environment allows the kids to put down their defense walls and feel comfortable with the Mentors. Something as simple as arts and crafts creates an enviormnet for these kids to express themselves without judement. 17 year old boys opend up to me about having children or when their parents were encarsirated. I never asked, they just told me and it was because they felt comfortable with me via the bond we had thorugh art. Create Now is truly a special program offering underprivalged youth the oppurtunity to create, express and open up on their own terms. It is very special and I hope to spread this across the Greater Los Angeles Area.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Fernando and I help with Create Now as one of the videographers.
My experience from the beginning to today at Create Now, with Jill and all of the wonderful awe-inspiring kids in the program, has been incredible. This has been like a great family looking out for all of their children wanting nothing but the best future for them all. They make a difference by exposing them to Science,math,the arts, and music to start.

Through filming and talking with the kids, I know first hand they are very grateful and appreciative for everyone and any opportunity through Create Now and the generous donors. We all know there are several nonProfits, but Create Now is genuinely here for the kids and their better tomorrow. Everyone one here is amazing and I encourage people to ask when the next open house is to stop by and experience it yourself.

2 Brandon35

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Brandon Johnson and I am a teacher/volunteer with Create Now. Create Now has given so much back the the community for children less fortunate through many forms of art. Being able to connect with children that are in a rough place in life is very important. I believe by doing this we are shining light on the possibilities they can have in the future. Create Now classes are usually a time for the children to escape from their reality and to have fun while learning. I really do hope that they can continue to reach out to more children in the future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now's Cultural Journeys program is giving great opportunities for families in need to attend concerts and events for free. I personally helped volunteer with one program organizing tickets for the Ringling Bros Circus and was able to see firsthand the joy that these families were able to experience by watching the show. Hopefully more children can become involved in the program!

Review from Guidestar