Big Thought Programs

At Big Thought, we aim to help all young people MAXIMIZE THEIR POTENTIAL in a 21st century world. Our programs offer pathways to build skills relevant for thriving in work today and in the future. No matter where a youths’ talents and interests lie, we intentionally focus on skills and competencies they will all need to thrive in an agile society. And by encouraging young people to take a panoramic perspective of their community and world, we hope to inspire them to pursue a life of possibility and purpose.

We do this in 3 ways:

Direct-to-Youth Programs

Learning Systems

Research, Evaluation and Design

Artivism: Youth grapple with issues of racial and social justice every day. Our newest program gives middle and high school students dynamic opportunities to address these issues head-on and advocate for change. Local professional artists guide the students as they express their thoughts through original artwork, poetry, and performance pieces. Projects have included a large-scale movable mural on fence posts, an original multi-disciplinary theater piece performed at Moody Performance Hall, and a deeply moving storytelling and photography exhibition.

Creative Solutions: Creative Solutions is an arts-as workforce INTERVENTION PROGRAM for adjudicated and marginalized youth. We use visual, performing and digital arts to help young people tap into their inherent greatness by improving job skills, promoting a positive self-image and increasing social and emotional development. Creative Solutions uses a trauma-informed, results-driven model to promote lasting positive change in the youth served.

DaVerse: Produced in partnership with Journeyman Ink, DaVerse Lounge is a safe haven for creative expression among middle and high school students.

Through an innovative curriculum, afterschool clubs and signature open mic performances, the DaVerse Lounge experience is designed to activate joy, invite depth and offer reflection. Unlike other spoken word programs, DaVerse Lounge is not a forced competition, but is an opportunity for all youth to express themselves in a low risk – high success setting.

Dallas City of Learning: Dallas City of Learning (DCoL) fills this gap by connecting youth with low- and no-cost learning experiences that cultivate creativity, build social and emotional skills and boost academic achievement. The program is youth-driven — students choose from an array of digital and in-person activities throughout the city that spark their interests and feed their curiosity.

Learning Partners: Limited state funding for public education can have unfortunate consequences for educators who desire to provide real-world, hands-on experiences to their classrooms.

Learning Partners is a digital resource that provides Educators ACCESSto THOUSANDS ofHIGH-QUALITY PROGRAMSand field trips that are easy to plan and offered at minimal cost to schools.

Library Out Loud: Learning gaps widen when children lack access to culturally enriching activities, which can be financially and geographically out of reach for many families. Through Library Out Loud, we engage their creativity through stimulating CULTURAL EXPERIENCESthat are free of charge, leveraging one of the city’s best resources— the PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM.

Programs are free, interactive and available for children and their caregivers at Dallas Public Library branches.

Thriving Minds: The value of what happens between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM during the school year and throughout the summer months can have a profoundly positive impact on our children’s lives. Thriving Minds programs give children the opportunity to excel in an environment that encourages EXPLORATION AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION. The Thriving Minds program provides inspiring and enriching activities that kids can’t get elsewhere.

The Fellowship Initiative (TFI), sponsored by JP Morgan Chase, provides young men of color (Fellows) multiple pathways to success and offers a glimpse of  what’s possible when these young men are given a chance to grow.

TFI helps the Fellows build their social capital and professional networks through peer learning and mentorship while also fostering social and emotional growth. The three-year commitment to The Fellowship Initiative equips these young men with the education, skills and resources that contribute to greater economic mobility.

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