Every year, we organize artistic excursions for thousands of the most vulnerable kids in the region through our Cultural Journeys program. Recently, The Chainsmokers gave Create Now tickets for 30 homeless youth from Covenant House and the LGBT Youth Center to see their show at the LA Convention Center. The kids were blown away by the experience and said it was something they will never forget.

For most of the children that Create Now serves, it’s their first time going to a live performance or a museum. Because of the abuse and trauma they have had to endure, they’re often afraid to venture out into the world. These troubled kids can also feel very self-conscious and fearful that they won’t fit in with everyone else.

In 2016, we arranged outings to a variety of events. More than 1,500 children experienced Ringling Brothers Circus and Circus Vargas, plus the ballet, LA Opera, the Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl, plays at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre West, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Ford Amphitheater and diverse sporting events.

The therapists, social workers, probation officers, teachers and other staff at the partner agencies in our network tell us that after attending our Cultural Journeys field trips, their youth are more focused and able to concentrate longer. They want to explore more of the world they live in, and discover the arts. Their confidence, motivation and goals are better enhanced.

Cirque du Soleil has been supporting Create Now since 2003. This year, they gave our youth tickets to see both Kurios and Toruk. Richard, from the LGBT Youth Center, enthused, “Thank you so much for the amazing night. I had never been to such an extraordinary event, and I’m just truly grateful for your generosity and thoughtfulness for us here at the center.”

We ask the kids to create thank you cards and letters, which teaches them to express their appreciation and to develop their creativity. At the same time, our ticket donors are able to see the impact of their contributions first-hand.

Laura Schmieder, Director of iPalpiti Youth Orchestra, donates hundreds of tickets to Create Now each year for their performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. She remarked, “One boy said he didn’t want to come to our concert because he thought it would be boring, but he wrote, ‘I would come anytime now to hear classical music.’ That clearly made a difference. Thank you for collaborating with us.”

Your donations make it possible for Create Now to bring thousands more of the “forgotten children” we serve to enjoy our Cultural Journeys.