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2020 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 24 years, Create Now has served more than 49,000 of the most vulnerable youth in Southern California. We empower kids from Pre-K to age 24 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 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

145 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Penny Lane Centers and Create Now, have been in a partnership for several years.
Create Now, have brought wonderful workshops / classes to Penny Lane Centers.
Our clients have enjoyed; belly dance classes, digital media, virtual music workshop for pre-schoolers, creative writing class , just to name a few workshops/classes. Create Now donated art /crafts supplies to one of our Supportive Housing Program.
They always stay in touch with me, checking to see if I need any supplies or classes for the clients/tenants.
Create Now, you are wonderful and Penny Lane Centers, appreciate everything you have done for us.

2 Azucena N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the Family Resource Center Coordinator at Aviva Family and Children's Services, I've had the opportunity to work with Create Now and see the amazing classes they provide to youth. Create Now has supported Aviva for several years with art classes and just recently with a creative writing class for young adults. Thank you for serving our clients and for the difference you are making in the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with CreateNow in May, 2019 and it has been and continues to be, an experience I will never regret. I edit videos made during workshops and classes. I get to see the instructors and the passion they have to share their talents with children who don't get a lot of exposure to positive creative channels. I get to see the children responding to the activities in a way that puts a smile on their face as they experience the joy of artistic expression. The CreateNow team is one I am very proud to be a part of and one that I hope to be involved with for many years to come.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Create Now has helped my community by providing great opportunities to learn not only about The Arts , but also fashion design , cooking classes and financial literacy . Keep up the good work.

Taelor B.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is a committed nonprofit that serves at risk youth . This organization has been a saving grace to the Imperial Courts Housing Development in Watts for many years. They have provided world class programs in arts , hosted amazing festivals , donated tickets to events that provided children exposure to Ballet, Theater , Plays and Museums . What I admire about Create Now is that they have developed a special relationship with the community and have been able to watch the children grow , and appreciate all forms of Art.

During COVID 19 when most agencies closed their doors , Create Now remained connected and dedicated to providing resources to the underserved community . They provided masks, hand sanitizer , diapers , milk, clothing , toys , books , virtual classes and most importantly large doses of HOPE to the families they service .
Create Now contacted families to see what they needed , and those needs were met beyond expectations .
Create Now is a great example of what service to community looks like . Brenijia a youth leader was recently interviewed by the New York Times , Te’yanah a first generation College Freshman was introduced to investing both young ladies had these opportunities , thanks to Create Now . Create Now is a solid organization that continuously pours into the lives of at risk youth and their families . Their work is amazing and life changing. Create Now .... Creates HOPE for youth that have been overlooked and under served .
Create Now has provided a life line of HOPE to the children of Watts ..


Kimberly Mckinney

1 Christopher William L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now has been an incredible organization to volunteer with. Their passion and their commitment to serving at-risk and high-risk youth has been demonstrated especially during the COVID pandemic. Even though we are unable to physically gather for their offerings, Create Now rapidly responded and began to offer virtual classes and workshops via Zoom. The difference that they make is palpable in these calls - the smiles and the excitement from the youth served is evident in every interaction and I am blessed to be able to provide my time to such an outstanding organization.

I look forward to continuing my time as a volunteer with Create Now and would strong encourage those who are able to contribute, whether that be through time, money, connections, or otherwise - I know for a fact that anything offered to Create Now will grow, and, in that growth, will serve the youth that they are out to impact.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Create Now for the past several months, helping out with social media. From the start I was very much intrigued by Create Now's mission. Having learned more about the arts workshops Create Now puts together and how impactful they, my admiration for this non-profit has grown and I'm honored to help spread the word about Create Now's dedication towards providing arts education and mentoring for underprivileged youth.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is a fantastic organization for connecting youth with educational opportunities to explore and learn the arts. I'm extremely grateful for the chance to share musical knowledge with young creatives, and provide some guidance for their artistic pursuits.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the great pleasure of volunteering to support Create Now. I have created a unique Empowerment Creative Writing course and Create Now found an organization that could benefit from something like this, especially during COVID19. I admire how they refuse to let a pandemic stand in the way of helping others. I look forward to working with them and their affiliates again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After growing up in foster care, I felt compelled to give back. I started volunteering for Create Now by teaching abstract art at a runaway homeless shelter for teens ages 10-17 called Angel's Flight in Downtown Los Angeles. I was so inspired by the strength of the children, so amazed by their stride, so thankful they were willing to make art with me and so humbled just being there; it truly changed by life. After the program was completed, we took a 2 week break and started up again! It was such an honor to serve this demographic and I feel so blessed to be apart of such an incredible organization like Create Now!

1 Sung Hyun L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a remote graphic design intern in the summer of 2020, and even though COVID-19 prevented me from meeting the staff in person, I felt like I really got to know the CEO, staff, and board members via e-mail and Zoom.

Volunteering for Create Now, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to contact the CEO, Jill Gurr, directly and frequently. She was responsive to emails and met with me on Zoom weekly to discuss tasks.

In response to COVID-19, Create Now is conducting virtual workshops. You may not see them as much on social media because they protect the identities of youths that they work with, but they are active. On top of providing virtual arts education, Create Now has donated masks, hand sanitizers, and diapers to a low-income area in Los Angeles and hosted a make-up drive for single mothers.

The CEO, staff, and board members are passionate about the arts and truly care about the children. If you would like to volunteer to teach underprivileged children creative or life skills, Create Now is a great place to start. They provide you with training, materials, and a mini celebration at the end of each workshop. Considering the real need for quality arts education and experiences in LA County and Southern California, I appreciate Create Now's involvement with both individual children and schools who would otherwise have little access to the arts.

If you prefer not to teach but would still like to contribute, Create Now can definitely use your skills. I had the opportunity to sit in on a couple of virtual marketing meetings and was impressed with the quality of volunteers. Create Now is not only a great organization to partner with, but it is also a great place to connect with likeminded, professional, and creative people.

Create Now has also received sponsorship or donations from well-known companies, as well as various grants. Check out the website to see the success stories of children whom Create Now has impacted. This organization is established and growing, and you can be part of the many good things they are doing!

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!

4

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!

4

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.

4

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.

5

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.

3 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.

5

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.

4

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.

4 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.

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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.

3

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

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am involved with createnow mainly in the capacity of a teacher, and I can say firsthand that it has made a positive impact on the lives of many, many kids.

The programs that I am involved in are geared towards disadvantaged youths/families that have "fallen through the cracks". We provided an outlet for the youths to express themselves in a safe, supportive environment through creative expression such as dance, music and drama.

A lot of the kids had never been part of any organized programs before and to see them grow as individuals and find their unique voices not only as performers but as people was inspiring.

We put together programs and shows under strict deadlines, time crunches, and limited budgets (often having to "improvise" to find space/materials) but managed to make it work.

The results are programs that we stand behind fully and completely, with the proof being the positive impact we have on many families lives.

Createnow is an organization I am proud to be a part of and hope to be for many years to come!

-Josh Ssettuba

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have witnessed numerous Create Now programs with the children. I have seen hundreds of children smile, participate, become fulfilled and enriched.

I have seen kids sing, dance, play guitar. Kids who would never have the opportunity to otherwise. And the little ones, the prekinder, rocking to a steady beat and learning to read through music! Simply outstanding.

3

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.

3

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create now has a great team of people who genuinely care for the children's needs and aspirations. Their team of people are there to make certain the children receive the best opportunities to make theirs lives enriched in so many different areas. Often times in life we have obstacles that only the reach out of others can help us to conquer...this is what Create now is about.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now and Jill Gurr are so inspirational and really have been a positive influence on me and the work they do is so heartwarming and I feel makes such a difference in these people's lives who need this type of assistance. I believe in this company and it's truly an honor to help out in any way I can. Keep up the amazing work!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Create Now... And the FUTURE WINS! Create Now is all about the future. The future of arts, the future of kids, the future of everyone it touches. The way Create Now wraps its arms around and touches other organizations is unparalleled! As a nurse educator, I promote caring, compassion, and communication with and to my students. Create Now promotes caring, compassion, and communication with and between EVERYONE! The work Create Now performs is essential to making this country and its people caring, engaged, and content.

Create Now!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've watched Jill Gurr's CREATE NOW grow from a good idea into an organization that has positively touched the lives of tens of thousands of young people. Over the years I've accompanied her to some of the arts events the kids attend and have seen how inspiring they are and how they motivate these young people. So many of the youth who have experienced the arts mentoring offered by Create Now have continued with their creative endeavors and have stories of success in their various fields. Create Now makes a wide-reaching positive contribution to both youth and to the arts in general by bringing in new talent.

2

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.

6 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
3

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.

3 EmoreJ C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Super Happy with the Support & Love that has been shown and displayed with the Create Now Organization Staff. I came to this organization with just an idea and we were able to make my Idea an Actual REALITY.

This was truly exciting and I'm happy to go forth with Create Now In the near future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at an Open House for Create Now and can honestly say this organization is filled with some of the most refreshing, welcoming, and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. From the directors, to the mentors, to the volunteers and most importantly, the kids, this organization truly shows what it means to come together as a community and make a difference.

1 Bennett C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with people as passionate as the ones I met at CreateNow it's plain to see why the kids who came out were so engaged and thrilled. People here generally care and the facilities are not only great, but they have the kind of equipment that will help these kids achieve their dreams. I would volunteer here again, without a doubt!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've only helped briefly at Create Now, but already I can sense how incredible an environment it is. I helped at an open house- a hub for people to come in and make art, regardless of background. The people that came during the day that I volunteered left with smiles on their faces. Some asked whether or not they could pursue additional lessons in arts they had only just started that day, and others were thrilled to be there- you could tell that passion for art had been instilled in them, and they seemed extremely appreciative of the experience. Overall, I think this is an incredible charity and organization and I look forward to helping in the future.

1

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great to see the students' creativity come to life!

1 Alyssa19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Guardian Barnes and I'm in foster care I had it rough for example I've been raped and beaten up by a lot of people.but over the years I learned that you have too trust in yourself, reason why i say that is because when I was younger I blamed everything on me and later on in life I realized that it's not my fault it's the other people's fault

Guardian

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at two Create Now events in the last few months, one Fashion workshop at the LA Housing Center and one Video Development at their open house. Both events were fantastic.

The kids, boys and girls alike, visibility enjoyed the safe place and opportunity to express themselves creatively, some for the first time. Some of them had profound experiences. One foster teen participant said we had made her dream come true! These foster and homeless kids crave for an opportunity to be and express themselves and Create Now provides a place to do it.

What impressed me as well was the quality of the programs offered and the knowledgable and dedicated staff and mentors.

Donate! Get involved!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first worked with Create Now when we were looking for a worthy organization to benefit from an Art Show that we were organizing as a tribute to my friend, Melissa Rourke who died of cancer in 2012. She was an artist who always dreamed of making a difference in the world, and when I found Create Now I was ecstatic to find an organization that provides arts mentoring, education and support to the very children that Melissa always wanted to help. Jill, Linda, and the rest of the Create Now team were very helpful in giving us ideas to make the art show more successful and help create more awareness about the needs of these children. I had such a positive experience that I have continued to stay in touch and volunteer in other ways I can with the organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is an amazing organization that's filling a much needed void in the Los Angeles community. Through mentorship and arts education, thousands of kids are getting the motivation, inspiration, and confidence to thrive in any field, especially the arts. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Jill, the Executive Director, and volunteering on behalf of the organization. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get involved and make a true and positive impact on a child's life as well as the greater community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is an amazing organization that makes a direct impact in the lives of those who need it the most. I have been able to witness firsthand how passionate Jill and everyone involved in the organization is in bringing creative arts mentoring and opportunities to at-risk youth. Art truly does heal and Create Now does everything they can to make a difference.

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!