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2018 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: 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

124 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

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.

2

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.

1

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.

2

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!

2 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!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization doing wonderful and under-appreciated work.

Previous Stories
2

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.

4

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!

3

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.

3

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!

3

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!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a former foster youth, being a part-of Create Now's is definitely a dream come true for me. I recently attended their Power of the Arts Festival where Create Now featured many kids from foster group homes, detention facilities, and many neighbors from the low-income area nearby. It was truly a day of celebration and festivities as kids - who have endured so many difficulties at their age - danced, sang, and enjoyed the last few days of summer together with such joy in their eyes. There is such power in being able to laugh through the hardship, and Create Now provided an outlet for these kids to express themselves and be a kid again!

The kids served by Create Now often have no such celebrations or events to look forward to, and their caretakers are severely limited in their own resources to provide these types of adventures. So not only did this event serve the kids, but Create Now also gave the care providers a chance to a part of the kids' healing. With tons of opportunities of open-mic performances, I saw many parents and guardians alike encouraging their little ones to open up and take on the mic! For those of us previously in care, one of the biggest paths to healing was knowing that someone was cheering us on. I greatly appreciate the way Create Now values the child and promotes their holistic care, while inviting their mentor, parents/guardians, and caretaker as part of their healing. It truly speaks for the organization and their goal to provide each kid with their unique voice.

I am excited to continue supporting them as they grow, accomplish bigger things, and reach more kids!

3

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.

3

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.

4

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.

2 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.

4

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.

3

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.

3 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
3

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.

3

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.

4 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.