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2021 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

156 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Create Now has helped Maryvale in numerous ways including with tickets to plays for children and adults, tickets to musicals, tickets to soccer games, tickets to the Derby Dolls, tickets to magic shows, tickets to dance recitals as well as tickets to the Wixton Theaters and the Santa Monica Theater.

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create-now 01/22/2011

Thanks Rose - We love the girls at Maryvale and Ruby will continue to provide you with tickets to many new events, as well as other unique opportunities, in the years to come!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a graduate student I had the opportunity to work with Jill and Laura at Create Now to create a showcase event for the talented kids that Create Now works with. It was one of the most heartwrenching, amazing experiences of my life. The work that Create Now does to give these kids a voice in creative expression, especially given the fact that the kids would normally not have these chances due to their circumstances, is absolutely amazing.

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create-now 01/22/2011

You did an amazing job Angelique! The hard work you put into organizing the Talent Showcase for our foster youth was phenomenal. These kids will never forget the experience of performing in front of an audience including their peers and the new friendships they made, and Create Now is very grateful for the money you raised.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create Now is an oasis for the willing volunteer. I first worked with Create Now in 2005 and have always been extremely impressed with the dedication and passion of the organization. Jill Gurr is tireless in placing volunteers in situations where both they and their groups can thrive and grow through creative interaction. A bright gem in the crown of Los Angeles.

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create-now 01/22/2011

You're a terrific mentor Lisa. Your passion for helping at-risk youth to learn about costume design is matched by their excitement about learning this wonderful art. You've planted seeds in young minds that will sprout into dreams and goals for them to pursue, which is essential for these vulnerable kids to have.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was involved with Create Now for many years and the work they do in really reaching the most troubled youth is not only amazing but necessary. I have worked with many children's non-profits and I have never seen anyone as dedicated or passionate about helping the most vulnerable youth as Jill. The arts programs - whether its art, music, performing arts, or creative writing - has transformed these kids - I've seen it first hands. Kids on drugs, in jail, homeless, you name it, have turned their lives around because of Create Now!

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create-now 01/22/2011

Thanks Robin! We're so grateful for all the assistance you have given to Create Now in fund-raising and program development. You've helped build our organization so that we can help thousands of the most troubled kids through the arts each year.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Create Now placed me and 2 other volunteers at a Domestic Violence shelter to do art projects with the children. Jill listened to what I wanted to do, and found the perfect match. She also followed up with me regularly, and provided necessary materials for the projects. It was a fantastic experience that I hold dear to my heart.

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create-now 01/21/2011

Thanks Danielle. We really appreciate the great work you did at Haven Hills. Now their staff are hoping we can bring them even more arts projects for the children who are victims of domestic violence since they loved your projects so much!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a weekly volunteer at the Los Angeles Youth Network and I believe that this is the most wonderful experience that I could have been afforded. Jill Gurr cares about and helps children in all facets of their lives and I am glad to be a part of it.

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create-now 01/20/2011

Thanks for your dedication and sticking it out through the hard times, Aaron. You're a wonderful mentor and the Create Now team is here to make your program even better!

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I was a weekly volunteer as a creative writing and comedy performance instructor for a group of teenage girls living in a foster care home environment.

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create-now 01/20/2011

Thanks so much for your dedication to the girls you mentored, Dan and the great job you did!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Los Angeles Youth Network has three shelters in Hollywood serving homelesss youth (12-17). We are licensed for 48 beds and serve about 1,500 youth per year. Our programs include an enrichment component and Create Now has been an incrediable resource for helping us find volunmteers who will donate their time and skills that help us introduce our youth the various elements of society.

Creat Now also introduces us to local cultural and arts programs that are available either for free or at a greatly reduced price.

WE LOVE CREATE NOW

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create-now 01/20/2011

Thanks for your comments Ron and for allowing us to serve your facility! We love working with the runaway, throwaway and homeless youth at LAYN because these kids really deserve a chance to find joy in their lives after the abuse and neglect they've had to endure. I'd like to point out that Create Now provides FREE programs for youth. Thanks to our Program Coordinator Ruby Medina's hard work, we gave out over 3,000 tickets to concerts, plays and other cultural events in 2010 and and didn't charge anyone a penny for our services, which included workshops in art, music, dance, writing, theatre and more. We look forward to increasing the services that we offer LAYN in the years to come!

Roger D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with Create Now on two large mural projects over the last few years. The owner/founder, Jill, is excellent at putting these large projects together, getting all the right people in place and marketing the events, making these very special experiences for the kids that participated. By the am there and ready to work with the kids all the paperwork and "behind the scenes" work is done and I can just work effortlessly with the kids. Jill is very hands on with everyone and it is really amazing to watch her in action. She really wants to get everyone involved. I am very proud that of all the work I've been able to be a part of I was able to work with Jill and the Create Now team.

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create-now 01/20/2011

Thanks for your kind words Roger. You're a very talented artist and we're delighted to have you as part of the Create Now family! Our team (Ruby Medina, Laura Kelly and Emily Schuck) is here to help bring more support to our Create A Mural Now workshops so hopefully we'll be out in the community again with you very soon, working with kids and their families to make our neighborhoods beautiful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands down this is the most sincere and dedicated organization I have had the pleasure of working with. My introduction to Create Now began in 1997 when I was in a youth detention facility and attended one of their writing workshops. The volunteer mentor for Create now was so inspired by our work and efforts that she arranged for all the participating youths in the facility to turn our work into a script for a popular TV show "That 70 Show". Not only did we perform for the whole facility but also had the pleasure of performing for the directors, creators, and cast members of the hit show even after we doubted that they would come since we were troubled youths!! Because of Create Now's efforts that day to make the youths that performed feel like ANYTHING was possible and no matter where we all came from or what we have done in the past to get us in that facility we to are important and can love what we do no matter which form of art we choose to express ourselves with. Due to Create Now's dedication and sincere concern in my future I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity of pursuing an acting career that has been supported by Create Now's mentors who have assisted me with headshots and acting workshops. This dedication has led to the most important thing that any organization can give a child and that is self worth and confidence to achieve your goals. I will always be grateful for Create Now.

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create-now 10/01/2010

Lizeth, we're so proud of you and the changes that you've made in your life during the past 13 years. You've blossomed into a beautiful, talented and loving young lady who motivates and inspires others to give back. We look forward to having you more involved with Create Now for many years to come.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Angel's Flight is a 16 bed, 2 week program for at-risk youth ages 10 - 17. We are a part of Catholic Charitites and our comprehensive services of counseling, case management, education and much more are free to all youth in the Greater Los Angeles area. We operate primarily from donations. Create Now! has enriched our program with exposure to many avenues of learning. We have received donated educational materials, tickets to cultural events, resources for the varied needs of our youth and support in our efforts to help our clients not become another statistic. Our program is so much richer for having a relationship with Create Now! which, in itself, is a world-wide effort towards helping not just youth but whole communities towards a better and more fulfilling life.

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create-now 10/01/2010

Thanks so much for your great feedback. We love working with such dedicated staff and great kids who really need a break. We appreciate you opening your doors to our programs and also bringing the homeless and runaway youth that you serve to experience the many cultural excursions that Create Now provides through our Artistic Journeys program.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Create Now has had a significant impact on the lives of all those involved in receiving, providing and administering services. I am encouraged by the direction of the organization and the continued benefits that CN's services will bring.

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create-now 10/01/2010

Thanks for all of your hard work in building Create Now, helping with our strategic plan, fundraising and enhancing the organization's infrastructure.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Create Now and more specifically for Camp Scott was a very enlightening experience. The need is great for this demographic; I am happy that Create Now had the vision to provide educational programs for these young girls. My hope is that more funding be made available or granted to the organization so that more of our disenfranchised youth can benefit from the gifts each special volunteer has to offer them. Thank you Jill, for your persistence and your vision.

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, Penny. You're a great "sounding board" for the girls at Camp Scott and know how to reach them. The fantastic newsletter that you helped these girls to create has impacted everyone at the detention camp. It’s something they’ll always treasure, and that will impact them for a long time. I can’t wait to see the next issue! Jill

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Create Now off and on over the past several years and, speaking from the standpoint of a mentor, CN has been tremendous in placing me where I'd do the most good, supporting me with my questions and concerns, and staying in touch with me throughout the experience to monitor how my programs were going.

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks so much for your time and energy, Ron. I know how busy you are, yet you always find time to help the kids to discover themselves through their creative writing. We're really looking forward to having you back at Phoenix House next week for your newest workshop.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Create Now as an adolescent, and I cannot begin to describe the effect it has had on my life. The outlet it exposed me to, (writing), has been a therapy for me, and I have lived a much happier, healthier, and more productive life as a result. Create Now and its mentors are changing lives, and I look forward to one day being able to give back what it has given to me. Thanks Create Now!

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I am SO very proud of you and all of your many accomplishments and so glad to have you in my life! Jill

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This experienced enriched my life beyond belief. I can only hope it did close to the same for "my girls."

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks Holly! You’re a phenomenal mentor and so dedicated, having mentored for three years at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. Your writing assignments for the girls are still being used by our other mentors. You’re going to be a wonderful therapist for them. Jill

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

CREATE NOW! is such an excellent non-profit. They help so many children, teens and underprivileged people. Especially today when creative programs are being cut from schools, we need this kind if non-profit in the community.

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks Corinne. The girls loved learning art from you, since you’re very creative and such a great teacher. You helped them to find their talent and to learn how to express it. We hope to have you back as a mentor again soon. Jill

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have three children of my own, with friends who have been through some bad times. I knew the girls in camp would have all sorts of emotional baggage, and imagined they would be tough and stoic. Quite the contrary, on any given day there would be sweet smiles, open curiosity and willingness to learn along with the emotional roller coaster endemic to teen girls. Some are rough and closed, but art projects gave them a chance to express another side and learn they have patience to accomplish a goal, make something unique and connect to people.

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks Leslie. You really know how to reach these girls, and to teach them fun, advanced projects that build their self-esteem. And you've also got a lot of patience to deal with the challenges at the detention camp. We're looking forward to having you back there again soon. Jill

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had such a wonderful experience with Create now. I would suggest anyone with a talent to use their skills and give back to those in need. I couldn't tell you how valued I felt after each art class I taught. I am so happy such a wonderful organization such as create now exists. It really helps put people who want to give in touch with people that need. Pyari

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks Pyari! Everyone at Vista Del Mar loved having you there to teach the girls fun arts projects. And they'll always have the beautiful things that they made in your workshops as souvenirs of their experiences with you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Create now provides an avenue for volunteers who have the time and the heart to help others who could greatly benefit. My experience in dealing with at-risk youth and teaching them how to create things was so rewarding, because it gave them confidence that they could create awesome things themselves, and it also gave these kids something to look forward to every week. In the short summer that I volunteered with the organization, I developed great relationships with many awesome people.

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create-now 09/18/2010

Thanks Samantha! Your help with our Introduction to Art Workshop was so appreciated by everyone at L.A. Family Housing. All of those children who were previously homeless will now have terrific crafts projects that you helped them to make, which will build their self-esteem. We look forward to having you mentor again soon. Jill