Developing a fair and creativity-focused review process was an important component in creating the Creative Youth Awards. The mission of the Bay Area Creative Foundation is to promote creative thinking and execution, and so we wanted to make sure our awards were evaluated with a sincere focus on the creative spark and process behind entries into the CYA, rather than on technique or technical skill alone.

To help us build such a review process, the Bay Area Creative Foundation consulted two experts in the field of Creativity, scholar and author Dr. James C. Kaufman and academic Dr. Hansika Kapoor.

Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Kapoor have worked together on numerous projects on creativity that range from creativity’s role in meaning-making, establishing the validity of the Kaufman Domains of Creativity Scale, exploring questions of creativity and morality, and studying applications of creativity in educational settings.

In advising for the Creative Youth Awards, Kaufman and Kapoor recommended the use of a 6-point rating scale per category, so that objective quantifications can guide BACF’s decisions. Ratings across three to five raters are averaged so that cumulative ratings can be used.

Merit Winners also receive artwork-specific notes and feedback from the review panel.

Review Process

Your work is carefully reviewed by three panels of professionals who evaluate submissions using a point-scale with established criteria. Panelists’ scores are averaged and top scorers qualify for finalist rounds. In the final round, reviewers rank merit awardees and provide individualized feedback to artists on their submission.

3 Rounds of Reviews

Round 1: Qualifying

Works are vetted for meeting submission guidelines. Submissions are reviewed to determine which qualify to move forward for more detailed evaluation via a point-system review.

Round 2: Pre-Finalist

A point rating system is applied to qualifying works to allow for targeted review by category. Top works move on to Merit Review.

Round 3: Merit Awards

All submissions in Round 3 receive a Merit Award prize that has a cash equivalent. Works are reviewed using a point system and written feedback is given by review panelists that is given (anonymously) to each student.

james kaufman profile

James C. Kaufman is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the Neag School of Education at University of Connecticut. He is the author/editor of more than 50 books, including Creativity 101, the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity, and the forthcoming The Creativity Advantage for Cambridge Press. He has published more than 400 papers, including the Four-C Model of Creativity (with Ron Beghetto) and several other theories. Dr. Kaufman’s awards include Mensa’s research award, the Torrance Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and APA’s Berlyne, Arnheim, and Farnsworth awards. His website is and he sporadically tweets @jameskaufman.

As much as I love research, I also love being able to apply what I have learned to try to give back and help encourage and foster creativity in others. I love BACF’s mission to nurture and support so many facets of the arts in young people. I have been so impressed with everyone I have gotten to meet at BACF!

My dream was always to be a creative writer of some type. I wrote stories and poems all throughout childhood. I was also active in my high school newspaper and covered sports for some of the local papers. I got to study under and work closely with the great novelist T. Coraghessan Boyle which was an amazing experience. I ultimately decided to pursue psychology but kept writing plays and musicals; many of my short plays have been performed around the world and my musical (Discovering Magenta; music by Michael Bitterman) played New York about six years ago. Ultimately, I have channeled my passion for writing into my books and articles. I am finishing up a book on creativity for musical theatre folks with one of my all-time favorite composers, Dana Rowe. I have been lucky enough to frequently infuse my passions into my work in so many other ways as well, from appearing in a documentary about comic book creators, Independents, teaching classes on the movies, and getting to consult with many of my favorite pop culture companies!

Hansika Kapoor, Ph.D

Dr. Hansika Kapoor is a Research Author at the Department of Psychology, Monk Prayogshala,, a not-for-profit academic research institution based in Mumbai, India. She holds a PhD from IIT, Bombay in the area of dark creativity aka how people get good ideas to do bad things. Her research interests lie in individual differences, socio-moral psychology, and behavioural science. She tweets @hansika_kapoor.

BACF is an exciting opportunity for me to explore diverse creative works and understand how they are judged and measured. One of the key aspects of creativity science that intrigues me is how we measure it, and BACF’s point-scale review process captures something that I want to examine closely in future research.

Creativity to me means something that is novel, original, and useful. I don’t actively do it any more in the artistic space, but as a child (and into young adulthood), I would draw caricatures and sketches regularly. For my most recent birthday, I received a blank canvas and art supplies, so I’m curious what I will do with it! I suppose a lot of my creativity has been channeled into the scientific space over the last few years.