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2017 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

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1 Russell11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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

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

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2 Brandon35

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

2

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.

1

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.

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!

1

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.

5

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.

2 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.

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.

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!

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great to see the students' creativity come to life!

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

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.