The Hough Youth Advisory Board is a small community of 12 high school youth between the ages of 14-24 who work together to organize, energize, and advise the Hough neighborhood. The Hough Youth Advisory Board collaborates with youth, adults, and community partners in the Hough neighborhood to make decisions that impact Hough. The Board is hosted onsite at TLA’s programming office on The Glenville Arts Campus (1484 E. 105th Street,Cleveland, 44106) on Tuesdays from 5pm – 7:30pm.


Youth are accepted into the Fellowship after completing an application form and an informal interview with a TLA staff member. Accepted youth under the age of 18 and parents/guardians must attend a 1.5 hour family orientation. Parents unable to attend the family orientation must contact the Advisory Board lead facilitator.


Members of the Hough Youth Advisory Board become knowledgeable about the history of the Hough neighborhood, learn the fundamentals of community development and organizing, and promote social change. The youth selected will represent the Hough neighborhood as positive change agents, using their gifts toward improving the neighborhood and the city. Board members learn REAL skills to do REAL projects using writing, performance, urban sociology (why people/societies do what they do and how those things limit/enable access & rights to certain people), and socially just leadership as your foundation. The culminating project for this year’s HYAB is co-organizing The Black Joy in Hough Arts Festival.


The “Black Joy in Hough Arts Festival” is a three-day neighborhood beautification and performance project co-led by MidTown Cleveland (MTC), The Hough Youth Advisory Board (HYAB), and Twelve Literary Arts (TLA), with guidance from LAND Studio and Famicos Foundation. The project is designed to beautify the Hough neighborhood with moveable art murals, and unify the east and west sides of Hough. The creation of the moveable murals will take place during the weekend of September 9th-11th throughout the Hough neighborhood. Live show performances and panel discussions taking place on the corner of E. 79th Street & Hough Avenue will take place on Saturday, September 10th. All murals, performances, and panel discussions will focus on the theme of “Black Joy in Hough”.


On Feb. 18, 2021, members of the Hough Youth Advisory Board gathered for a virtual event hosted by the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University to talk about their work. You can watch this recording of the event to learn more about the youth council’s projects and plans: Members of the Hough Youth Advisory Board co-wrote the “Hough Freedom Zone” performance combined poetry, theatre, and dance to tell the story of how Hough has been impacted by the historical legacy of “redlining” – a federal government discriminatory practice in which housing stocks were increased and segregated according to race, and African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects. For more information about the Hough Youth Advisory Board, contact Daniel Gray-Kontar at dgraykontar@twelvearts.org