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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Create Now, Inc.

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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: For 23 years, Create Now has served more than 45,000 of the most vulnerable youth in Southern California. We empower kids from Pre-K to age 24 (transition-age youth) through high-quality programs in music, writing, performing arts, digital media, visual arts, fashion and culinary arts. We serve kids challenged by poverty, violence, abuse, neglect, homelessness and similar challenges, and teach at-risk youth in Title 1, continuation and charter schools. Every year, Create Now brings thousands of children to concerts, plays and other cultural events at premier venues. We also produce community projects, like Power of the Arts Festivals and mural workshops.

Target demographics: We serve vulnerable kids from Pre-K to age 24 (TAY) who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned, homeless and dealing with similar challenges. 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 youth at Title 1, continuation and charter schools where students receive zero or limited arts education

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,631 of the neediest youth in the region.

Geographic areas served: Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura

Programs: Music, Visual Arts, Writing, Fashion, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Journeys which each year brings thousands of underserved kids to concerts, plays and special events like Cirque du Soleil.

Community Stories

134 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the fortune and privilege to be hired by Create Now as a teaching artist for a ten-week music class series at ELAC's Children Center (Los Angeles East College). The program was well organized and created a very supportive experience for the kids. At the end of the program the children went home with a booklet illustrating the songs they had learned in English and Spanish and a CD of the music featured throughout the semester in class. Overall it was a great and heartwarming experience for me and the children. It was a pleasure to work with Create Now's staff, their passion and integrity really comes through. They truly provide a essential service to children who are often not able to have music taught to them!

1 alex77g

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son and I love Create Now. They have given us a platform to bond while giving back to the community. We volunteered and helped teach kids how to paint a mural and the entire staff was kind and helpful. This experience was truly rewarding.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My CreateNow experience was very positive. CreateNow helped match me with an amazing nonprofit organization in my community. I was able to serve children and families in my community while helping a nonprofit whose mission is near and dear to my heart to expand its program offerings. Thanks to CreateNow for bringing volunteers and nonprofits together and advancing the healing power of the arts!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love Create Now! I taught at a charter elementary school for this organization. They were very helpful in getting me the supplies that I needed for teaching. There were considerate of my schedule, facilitated good communications with the school and were respectful of my creative process.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Create Now hired me as a teaching artist for three ten-week music class series at the Santa Monica Blvd. Community Charter Elementary School. I have been teaching music to preschoolers for over ten years, and this program is by far the most organized and supportive that I have seen. At the end of the program, children went home with a brand new complimentary backpack plus a CD of the music I featured throughout the semester in class. I also taught a short teacher-training seminar before each semester in which I was able to introduce the educational ideas behind my curriculum to teachers and aids. Teachers and support staff were very receptive to the new ideas, and were able to include much of the material into their own curriculum. Overall it was a very positive experience, with the children benefiting the most! Thank you Create Now! You provide an essential service to children all over Los Angeles!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the great privilege to know and work with Create Now's Executive Director, Jill Gurr for several years. She works tirelessly to serve the mission of Create Now and has inspired 1000's of youth through the power of the arts and creativity. Our company was fortunate to be able to sponsor and host a fulldome digital media lab that Create Now received funding for which allowed them to be able to offer the lab to a group of youth. They each created a fulldome show then presented it to an audience in a dome theater. The children would speak about their lives and how the dome show was designed to portray various aspects of their experiences. It was so powerful and I was deeply moved. Thank you to Create Now for the extraordinary work you do!

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6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is one of LA's premiere non-profits helping children in need. This organization has done tremendous work over the years it has been operating and we've been honored to be a part of a few of their excellent initiatives. Executive Director and Founder, Jill Gurr, is one of the most dedicated visionaries I've met and extremely passionate about serving the mission of the organization. We run another LA-based 501(c)3 called the c3: Center for Conscious Creativity and have collaborated with Create Now on projects. In 2013, we awarded Jill and two other colleagues the FutureVision Award which recognizes artists and content creators using the arts and media to create a better future.

1 Nadia R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Create Now as an Americorps VISTA last summer. It was my responsibility to manage volunteers for the organization. While choosing my future host site, I remember Create Now standing out to me. Among all of the other non-profits there was to choose from, Create Now was the one, I felt most inspired by and compelled to work for.

I think what really stood out to me most about Create Now was the heart and intention behind their great work. In a city like Los Angeles, there is a great need for supplemental education programs for disadvantaged youth, and this is especially true of art education.

Create Now partners with youth serving community agencies to provide customized art classes for young people facing challenges such as being homeless, having survived abuse, being in foster group homes, having involvement in the criminal justice system or otherwise living in poverty. Their programs are deeply impactful and provide students with healthy emotional outlets which can lead to healing, forgiveness, educational improvements, and in some cases even career opportunities.

After having spent one year there, I can say with conviction that Create Now and the work of their dedicated staff (Jill Gurr and Laura Kelly) makes Los Angeles a better place to live, and makes the world at large a brighter place. Their presence in the community is imperative and incredibly meaningful. The future of our youth depends heavily on well organized, reliable, thoughtful programming in the arts and I was honored to have been a part of their work in the small way I could have been.

1 Donna M. W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now does an exceptional job of supplying the artist with the right environment for mutual growth. The participating organizations are welcoming, and the young artist appears eager to explore art materials and learn new concepts. I enjoy volunteering with this progressive organization.

1 Katelynne D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is an incredible organization! I've been involved as an art mentor since March 2019 and my experience has been heart warming and fulfilling. The staff is well versed in the industry and very caring. I was paired with a shelter to lead art workshops that was a perfect fit for me. Since the Create Now staff was so diligent in what they do, I am able to teach these children about amazing artist and make a creative space for these awesome kids to be artistic and grow! Overall, I have had a wonderful experience and can't wait to continue volunteering with such a great non-profit!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

I joined the Create Now team to help them pull together a wonderful community event, their annual Power of the Arts Summer Festival. I was shocked to learn they operate with such a small team of 3, yet still impact tens of thousands of at-risk youth. The work they do with such dedication makes a big difference. They deserve all the support they can get, and I wish them the very best moving forward.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Teaching Artist new to the Los Angeles area, I came across Create Now through a posting for educators and was fortunate enough to write curriculum and lead a class through one of their partner schools in Downtown LA. Laura and the Create Now staff were a pleasure to partner with and the impact they had on 3 classes of 5th graders without a regular Art Class was profound. These kids are hungry for opportunities to be creative and so often lack the resources. Create Now is a vital organization that has real impact with the youth of Los Angeles giving them access to arts and music programs that they would otherwise go without.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Create Now a little over a year ago. I've had the privilege of meeting and working with the dedicated and passionate people behind the organization. Their dedication to underprivileged children is inspirational and commendable. They are transforming kids' lives through the magic of the arts. Thousands of kids have had the opportunity to create music, attend concerts and performances, learn to play instruments and so much more. Jill and her team have opened up a whole new world to these kids and has given them hope, love and a safe place to explore and express themselves.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love the work Create Now does. They have helped over 42K kids in need through arts mentoring and education. Expression through art is a fundamental need and their program has proven year over year the value they provide to local youth. I got involved with this organization because of its grassroots mission. Everyone working at and for Create Now is passionate about the service provided to the community. I couldn't be prouder of the good work Create Now provides.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I came across CreateNow at a board matching event and quickly fell in love with the mission, how they were of service to the community and the founder Jill. After attending a few of their classes and events, I saw how they created an outlet for vulnerable youth and gave them a new outlook on what was possible in their lives. After being inspired, I decided to join the Board to use my skillsets to promote and amplify however I can.
It has been an amazing experience and educational experience!

3 Cole S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Create Now and my experience thus far has been awesome! I am helping plan their August event and the team here is so lovely to work with. I highly recommend this nonprofit to anyone seeking ways to brighten at-risk youths lives, the world needs more people like Create Now!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization doing wonderful and under-appreciated work.

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3

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.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Create Now has provided great opportunities specifically with music programs in different areas of greater Los Angeles to those who cannot attain or have music as an option in their schools. I personally commend programs like Create Now being a music professional myself because at an early age I saw how music enriched my life and my education during my youth. It allowed me to embrace growth, as a independent and responsible individual as I completed my education. Most time students just want something to grasp their upmost attention and commitment as school testing and some subjects can be overwhelming and stressful. It is a wonderful and promising outlet to have the arts and music in schools. Thank you Create Now for giving me an opportunity to be an instructor for some of these future generations and helping them fill their lives with music in hopes that they continue on with it. You efforts and work is appreciated. Keep on striving!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Create Now fits a unique and critical niche in Los Angeles nonprofits. For one thing, it targets the hardest hit kids that can be particularly hard to reach in shelters, group-homes, incarceration units, etc. Then it provides workshops and training in the arts and creative fields which is of two-fold benefit. 1) The arts are valuable intrinsically for all, with countless studies showing the therapeutic value that the arts provide for self-esteem and success--especially for trauma-sufferers as most of these kids are. But also, 2) The creative industry is a vibrant and important part of Los Angeles's core economy. Since LA has dropped the arts requirement in public schools, these children have essentially lost access to major LA careers in entertainment, media, fashion.. even the tech industry requires creative thinkers. Create Now not only provide art and creativity training but pairs it with mentoring and job training, internship opportunities, etc. to specifically help guide youth into creative careers. Create Now staff and volunteers are passionate youth advocates and its been tirelessly serving the LA community for over 20 years.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Create Now does wonderful work in the community and has the children's best interest at heart always. Incredibly special. I work with Audiomachine, and we were looking for a nonprofit to help us launch a music program to teach underprivileged and foster youth how to write and record music. We found Create Now, and the work they were doing with the youth in the arts world was wonderful! Our program is now in full swing, and watching these kids create from their souls is truly beautiful. The team that has been created to facilitate is the dream team. Create Now is constantly expanding their programs and ideas, and continues to impact so many kiddos. It's wonderful to work with them and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently joined the Board of this amazing organization and am beyond impressed and inspired at how they are helping shape the lives of kids who really need it. One of the events I observed was a photography class for kids at a temporary homeless housing shelter, the kids were given cameras and we explored the neighborhood with them finding beauty in the everyday and helping them see the world through a different perspective. After taking pictures the kids also learned about photo shop. It was wonderful spending time with these kids and seeing their faces light up at things they see all the time, but now looked at differently because it was through a lens. This is just one of the dozens and dozens of programs Create Now does that helps kids see a new world and hopefully a positive future for themselves in it. I'm excited to continue working with Create Now and continuing to help as many kids as possible. Highly recommend volunteering, getting involved or donating to Create Now!