Latest Insights

NeON Arts participants performing during the summer 2018 showcase at Carnegie Hall. Photo credit: Jennifer Taylor.

Research has demonstrated that arts engagement may positively impact justice-involved youth; however, many of these youth have limited access to the arts. Aware of this research and seeking innovative approaches, the New York City Department of Probation sought to provide arts programming to youth on probation and their neighbors. Since 2011, Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) offices have been offering a range of human services to seven underserved New York City neighborhoods. Over the course of 18 months, Metis and our partner, Westat, worked with the Department of Probation, NYC Opportunity, and Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute and to evaluate NeON Arts.

Thanks to funding from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, NeON Arts was launched in 2013. The program offers arts opportunities to youth in seven target neighborhoods, with the goal of connecting youth with positive role models, offering them enriching experiences, creating a space where youth feel safe to take creative risks, and teaching them employable skills. The Metis/Westat evaluation assessed the impact of NeON Arts on young people, stakeholders, artists, and community members, as well as the capacity of NeON Arts to continue their evaluation efforts in the future. Overall, this evaluation found that NeON Arts offers youth a range of engaging workshops in a supportive environment alongside adults who care about them. These experiences positively affected the engagement, relationships, and emotional development of youth, community members, partners, and the evaluation team. For more information please contact Susanne Harnett.

Read full report