Founder & CEO, Participant Productions Founder and Chairman, Skoll Foundation Founding President, Ebay
"No two centers are exactly alike. Start small and grow over time. Find a local champion,” he says in a telephone interview. “All of these centers operate on the same principles and the results are the same. Put kids in an environment where they can find dignity and purpose and they respond. Bill has a saying that in the ghettos what matters most is faith, hope and love – but hope is the most powerful.” Such is the power of this model, Skoll says, that it could yet prove to be the “eBay of social change”. As he puts it, “eBay took the idea of person-to-person trade and used the internet to make it a global phenomenon. We turned garage sales and flea markets into a global trading platform. What Bill and his centers are about is the same empowerment of people and helping them find good jobs. This should be the model for schools everywhere in the world.”
Culinary Arts Major 2008-2009
“The instructors at the Center teach everything you need to know in the field and inspires people to find the drive in themselves to be successful.”
Composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian.
"One of the most innovative social enterprise thinkers I have ever met. The 'Strickland' thought process is that of a highly trained jazz musician, coupled with a keen business sense...He is definitely one of my major heroes."
"We've stayed focused on that mission and have seen a ripple effect as young people emerge from CATC with the confidence and skills to succeed, and go on to raise families in which economic stability is the norm. These patterns of productivity and prosperity reverberate across the Cincinnati community and its neighborhoods."
Retired president and CEO, Steelcase Inc.
"We often hear the word 'inspire,' likely allowing it to pass and not sink in our psyche. However, we often will never forget things that inspire us. A visit to see Bill Strickland's concept in Pittsburgh was one of those events for me."
1998-2002 Youth Arts Student
“I couldn’t have gotten into college without the portfolio that the Teaching Artists helped me create”
First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton
1998 "Coming Up Taller" award ceremony at The White House
“In communities across America, poets and actors, dancers and musicians, painters and museum curators and other caring adults are helping children discover their creative potential in the arts and humanities. They are offering children safe, stable environments in which to learn and providing them the opportunity to develop their skills and aspirations. That is what Coming Up Taller is all about. Shortly after the President's Committee report was released, I went to see one of these programs in action for myself. I went to Pittsburgh to visit the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, which is also one of today's honorees. As I watched children who did everything from molding clay to developing their own photographs, I saw tangible results. More than three quarters of the students in that program went on to college, compared to only 20 percent of those in the community from which they came. Recent national research shows that the Manchester Craftsman Guild is not an isolated case. It documents precisely what the President's Committee observed. Quality afterschool and summer school arts programs can make a tremendous difference in young people's lives. Those who participate in such programs are more likely to win academic honors, more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to go on to college. It is not hard to figure out why. The Attorney General and I have discussed many times that the juvenile crime rates are highest in the unsupervised afterschool hours. We know that many children have nothing to do and have nowhere to go when they are not in school. Sometimes they find trouble, or trouble finds them. More often, they are simply bored to tears. Arts and music programs like the ones we honor here today give children something to say yes to. They help them find their voices and help them discover their dreams. So as we celebrate these outstanding programs in ten communities, I hope we can send a powerful signal to every community and that is that arts and humanities for children are not luxuries. It is an opportunity for every community to build stronger citizens, to have safer streets, to create more productive young people. We have to stand firm in making the argument that every child deserves to have something positive and positive role models in their lives.”
Tom Roberts, MBA
Executive Director, HopeCAT – Hope Center for Arts & Technology
“Working with the NCAT team during the replication process has been a great experience. The depth of the resources within the team, backed by Manchester Bidwell’s education model and Pittsburgh staff, has provided an adaptable model to fit our specific community’s needs during feasibility and planning. As a startup non-profit, there are very stressful days, but it’s wonderful to have a team in Pittsburgh to rely on throughout the center formation process.”
Chief Relationship Officer & Partner, Rebound Solutions
"I just want to tell you how amazing you are – and how inspirational it is every day to think about the possibility of bringing your important work to Denver. We talk about you every day – by email, by phone, in person – and yet I have been remiss in taking a moment over the past few months to thank you directly. I thank you for being who you are, doing what you do, and affording us the opportunity to explore partnering with you in your remarkable, life changing, individually empowering work to make our communities and those whose lives are encompassed within them more enriched and fulfilled and successful. If we can impact 1/1000th the number of lives to the extent you have changed so many...including our own...we will be blessed. Thank you, thank you, thank you. With love and endless gratitude."
1996-1999 Youth Arts Student
"The Youth Arts program got me reengaged in school and the thought of actually going to college."