About Create Now


Create Now gives youth opportunities to find their voices through the arts.

We serve children in need, especially 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. The youth we serve come from poverty-stricken families with histories of violence, substance abuse, or neglect.

These “forgotten children” are tucked away in group homes, shelters, detention facilities, special centers and schools throughout the Southern California region, under the radar of the general public. We have served around 35,000 of the neediest youth in the region for the past 19 years.

Through our seven program areas: music, art, writing, digital media, performing arts, fashion and cultural excursions, the neediest kids learn to express themselves in a positive manner versus the destructive ways that they may have used in the past.

We’ve developed a network of 100+ partner youth agencies like shelters, group homes and detention facilities, and an extended database of over 1,000 youth facilities and schools throughout Southern California that enables us to match volunteers with youth in need right in their own neighborhoods, based on the children’s ages, genders, challenges and other preferences.

Our volunteer-driven programs vary in length from one-day classes to ongoing workshops that can endure for months, or even years. We train our mentors, help them to customize their curriculum and give them lots of materials, plus additional support.

Create Now focuses on implementing high-quality arts education programs that follow California Common Core State Standards. These 12-session workshops are taught by professional teaching artists who use cutting-edge techniques to engage students in learning a variety of arts disciplines. Career preparation is an important part of the curricula. We also give children access to the vast resources that our organization shares from community support.

What sets Create Now apart from other arts educators is that we’re able to customize our arts programs in diverse disciplines to meet all the needs (and budget) of your school, company or group. Evaluation of the outcomes from our classes show that they work!

Creative expression has been proven to be very therapeutic, especially for traumatized children. Create Now programs develop youths’ talent and abilities. They build teamwork, self-esteem and confidence. At the same time, arts programs help to prevent bullying and involvement in gangs.

Each year, we also bring thousands of kids and their families to free concerts, plays and other cultural events at premiere venues throughout the region. These field trips not only educate children while exposing them to new types of music, theater and art, but also bring them relief and joy. They’re able to bond with their parents and replace traumatic memories with happy ones.

We send out regular notices about jobs, internships, scholarships, arts contests, free books, computers and other materials to the partners in our extensive network, which reach tens of thousands of youth. Create Now is a conduit for individuals and businesses in the community to give back to the neediest children in the region.

Read our Mission, Vision, and Core Values statements