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Armory awarded $22,500 to Teach Art To Juvenile Offenders and Dropouts In Boyle Heights

Posted by on 22 May 2014

The Armory has received $22,500 to provide arts programs benefiting at-risk youth, through the California Arts Council's pilot competitive grant program, Juveniles Utilizing Massive Potential Starting with Arts (JUMP StArts).

The Armory’s free arts programming at Learning Works @ Homeboy Industries in East LA, begun in 2011, deepens the ongoing collaborative partnership between the Armory, Learning Works, and Homeboy Industries. Through this partnership, the Armory provides free arts opportunities to youth re-entering from juvenile detention centers, youth who have dropped out of school, and youth who are wards of the court. The Learning Works @ Homeboy Industries school campus, located on 1st Street in Boyle Heights, serves over 120 students. The Armory provides all arts programming at this site.

Armory programming at Learning Works @ Homeboy Industries consists of sequential, standards-based arts courses, designed and delivered by Armory Teaching Artists – professionally-trained artists with a passion for educating and mentoring at-risk and in-crisis youth. Courses include Printmaking, Graphic Design, Text Graphics, Video, Poetics of Street Art, Drama, and collaborative mural creation and installation. Students present their work to the public at multiple sites, including Homegirl Café in Chinatown.

The in-crisis teens at Learning Works @ Homeboy Industries are dealing with serious issues including homelessness, pregnancy, drug abuse, domestic abuse, participating in gang activity, and committing criminal activity resulting in their entering the juvenile justice system. These teens are highly susceptible to dangerous activities—gang activity, crime, and drug use—that they are now making a conscious effort to avoid. Recidivism among youth offenders is high: two-thirds will be re-arrested, and up to one-third re-incarcerated within a few years after release.

The program has a demonstrable record of positive impact in providing in-crisis teens with direction and support at a critical juncture in their lives. These teens also benefit from being mentored by Armory Teaching Artists – a hallmark of the program. Armory programming empowers these teens to experience accomplishment, creative self-expression, personal fulfillment, and cooperation with peers through unique programming that builds on the power of art to transform lives.

About Learning Works
The mission of the Learning Works Charter School (LW) is to provide a personalized, rigorous academic program and relevant life skills to traditionally underserved, at-risk students in grades 9-12 who have withdrawn or are in danger of withdrawing from mainstream education without attaining a high school diploma. LW addresses the needs in our community by offering a program to give these disengaged students an educational choice designed to meet their specific needs, distinct from the traditional programs that have not served them well. Our model combines both the need for academic intervention and support, as well as acknowledges that this population requires wrap around, social support services.

About Homeboy Industries
Homeboy Industries assists at-risk and formerly gang involved youth to become contributing members of our community through a variety of services in response to their multiple needs. Their free, comprehensive wrap-around services -- including counseling, education, tattoo removal, legal services, family support, job training, job placement and more -- enable young people to redirect their lives and provide them with hope for their futures. Homeboy believes that “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job”.