BNV Network Membership

The BNV Network is designed to create a space for like-minded organizations to share best practices, develop relationships with other organizations and educators, and to create opportunities for the Network to apply for grants, join webinars and receive subsidies to BNV and to professional development convenings. We look forward to getting to know you and your work. Welcome!

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Network Initiative

The Brave New Voices Network Initiative (“BNVI”) is a seven-year initiative, dedicated to building a sustainable field of nonprofit organizations and programs throughout the United States that intersect arts education, and youth development practices with a deep focus on long-term civic engagement and public presentation. The initiative provides general operating support, training and other types of technical assistance, peer learning exchanges, and digital support and visibility to programs and organizations nationwide. The project is eligible to youth programs and organizations that specifically focus on providing writing and performance opportunities to youth ages 13-24.

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In early 2017, Youth Speaks presented a 7-month Institute for Emerging Organizations.  The participants who were selected each represent a nonprofit organization that has been in formal operation for at least two years and has an annual operating budget of less than $500,000. In January, these 14 participants traveled to Houston, Texas, for a two-day professional development Intensive. To follow and complement that experience, they were engaged in virtual training activities leading up to the 2017 Brave New Voices Festival, designed to advance their growth as leaders in the field while also boosting the capacity of their organizations. 

Meet the Participants for the 2017 Institute for Emerging Organizations!

Previous Convenings

Leadership Cohort

As a core component of the BNV Network Initiative, Youth Speaks launched our inaugural Leadership Cohort in January 2015. Over a three-year period, select organizations from around the country will receive targeted investments in their organizational development and sustainability, including cash grants ranging between $25,000 and $100,000 annually, ongoing capacity-building training, online and in-person, as well as Future Corps staffing support in years two and three of this initiative.

Future Corps

Youth Speaks is facilitating a national two-year Future Corps Fellowship program, designed to expand upon our BNV Festival Future Corps program. Eight emerging arts leaders, who are alumni of the BNV Festival, have been selected to serve as full-time salaried staff at a range of host organizations around the country that have been chosen to participate in the BNVI’s Leadership Cohort. In turn, Fellows receive training and mentorship to further their skills and experience as emerging leaders in the field.

Visit our Future Corps web page for more information on this exciting new program.

Virtual Trainings

Since 2016, Youth Speaks has presented an ongoing virtual training series. Each session in the series is centered on topics related to organizational development: leadership, fundraising, programming, marketing and communications, and operations and finance. The goal of the series has been to build stronger, more sustainable arts organizations. All of the previous sessions have been recorded and archived, and as a Brave New Voices member, you will have the opportunity to revisit these sessions and hear from experts in the field from across the country, as they share their expertise and best practices.

Become a member to access our archive of trainings.


Beginning in the Fall of 2014,  a series of competitive grant opportunities became available through BNVI. In addition to general operating support and technical assistance for members of our Leadership Cohort, we also offer grants for specific programmatic activities.

Programmatic grants will be offered as opportunities arise for Youth Speaks to help generate collective momentum and dialogue in the Network around various topics, including immigration, violence, educational reform, climate change, gender and sexual identity, public health issues, and the school-to-prison pipeline. All Network members will be encouraged to apply for programmatic grants.

Brave New Voices

Brave New Voices