We headed up and developed a program in partnership with Durham Family Court Clinic (DFCC) working with 20 students and their social workers from their day-school program through two 16-week weekly evening programs.
We had oversight of 10 artists working with the youth through their different art form specialties. The program was an exploration of various art mediums with the expectation that the students would eventually chose their favourite medium and made a finished piece to enter into an art show and art auction.
The group worked with a writer who helped them to develop artist statements and biographies. They were also taught interview skills “live” as part of the program.
The culmination of the project at the final event was a huge success, all pieces were auctioned off at a gala and money was given back in bursaries to each participant. Students esteem skyrocketed during this process and especially with the attention given on the final evening.
The program was a great success, partially because of the end, but throughout the 16-weeks there were many relationships developed and the opportunity given by facilitators to open up dialogue between the youth about different situations in their lives – many of which were challenging, and for them to offer compassion and support to one another.
Youth were moved by the attention at the gala and learned some valuable art skills.