We help youth find their voices
through arts mentoring and education.

Total Youth Served

National Foster Care Month!

With May being National Foster Care month, we want to bring light to some alarming statistics about foster care in the United States.

On any given day, roughly 424,000 children are in foster care across the country. Many of these children end up in foster care due to parent incarceration, alcohol or drug abuse. But the most common reason is due to neglect. All of this can impact their mental health.


Over a quarter of these children will leave the foster care system via adoption while nearly half of them will go back home to their parents or primary caretaker. Nearly 22,000 children will have been in foster care for over five years, as of 2019.

There are also over 120,000 children waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. Roughly 24,000 teenagers each year turn 18 and age out of the system before they are able to be adopted.

What happens when they emancipate out of the system? 

At 18, these teens have to fend for themselves completely. They have to find a place to live, a job to financially support themselves and, if they are still in high school, finish their education. 

According to Forever Family, within two to four years of aging out of the system:

40% were homeless

40% were receiving public assistance or were incarcerated

40% experienced drug or alcohol abuse

46% had not finished high school

51% were unemployed

84% became parents

Create Now works to not only help children through the arts, but also prepare teens for the potential to live on their own. Our classes teach these young people how to prepare healthy meals. They’re learning skills that can lead to careers in photography, fashion design, journalism and creative writing. Our graphic design program teaches them how to generate logos and other content that can be used in the business sector.


Founded in 1996, Create Now serves children from infancy to 24 through arts programs in many disciplines.

We focus our efforts on kids who have been abused, neglected, orphaned, made homeless, incarcerated or experiencing other severe challenges – the “forgotten children.”

We have reached more than 42,000 of the most vulnerable youth in Southern California over the last 21 years.

Arts Programs

Create Now’s programming focuses on eight main areas


About Create Now

Writing Program for Children at Vaughn

Video produced by foster youth

Ready to Learn at Urban Compass

Highlighted Programs

What People Say

“Two of my teenage girls on probation fell in love with dance after Create Now gave us tickets to see the Los Angeles Ballet. They took classes and then taught ballet to some little girls in our housing projects, who now all want to be ballerinas based on what the older girls do.”
Kimberly McKinney,
Probation Officer, Watts Housing Projects
“Some of our kids deal with high anxiety and different forms of abuse at home. This acting workshop is bringing out a lot of their talents that usually lie dormant. It’s fun and lighthearted and lets them show off their talents like singing, dancing and acting.”
Lionel Ruff,
Youth Counselor, Vista Del Mar
“Partnering with Create Now provides truly individualized and engaging arts instruction to our students. We’ve noticed a remarkable change in them, including an increase in confidence and an awakening of the possibilities outside of the realm of the classroom.”
Mallory Barnes,
Regional Director of Strategic Partnerships, Aspire Charter Schools
“This class is the highlight of the year! I’ve never been so confident in myself, or so committed to something in my life, not even video games.”
student at Vaughan Middle School
I have been leading a Journalism Workshop for teenage girls at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison, for almost three years now. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I love the mentoring work I do so much that I want to — need to — find a way to do it full-time. It’s amazing what you get when you give.
- Holly Richmond
Former Writer/Editor, / “Seventeen,” now in Masters program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in Santa Barbara
Here at the shelter, we can fill the gaps in our youths’ basic needs, but the more important gaps that help them find themselves as individuals and grow as young adults come from the experiences and mentorship provided by selfless and enthusiastic organizations like Create Now and its vibrant team of dedicated individuals.
-Federico Bustamente
Outreach and Activities Coordinator, Casa Libre Youth Shelter
I happened to run into the mother of Daniel, one of the boys that I’m working with at Camp David Gonzalez. She told me that Daniel talked about me and our class every week with great enthusiasm. She was absolutely thrilled that he was asking for books and wanted to read more.
- Glenda Shaw
Writer/Producer, / "Leeza Gibbons" and "Montel"

Honors & Awards

Create Now is proud to be recognized by these distinguished organizations.





association of corporate counsel SOCAL


British Council




Volunteer Service Organization