Since 2014, in partnership with the Probation Department, Arts and Culture has contracted with community-based arts organizations to provide year-round, healing centered arts instruction for youth in juvenile detention facilities, juvenile day reporting centers, public housing sites, community parks, diversion program sites, congregate care sites, and continuation high schools located across the County. In addition, arts and cultural practices are woven into peer learning, professional development, and self- and community-care (
Creative Wellbeing) spaces for families and adults working with youth. This work continues to expand, in response to its success and in response to the Arts Ed Collective’s intentional alignment with other community-centered strategies led by County and community partners. To meet this growing need, Arts and Culture continues to expand the pool of community-based organizations contracted to provide healing-centered, arts-based youth development services.
Arts Instruction for Probation Involved Youth
The Department of Arts and Culture supports the work of teaching artists from organizations that use a healing-centered, arts-based youth development approach to lead year-round arts instruction for youth in six Probation camps, two juvenile halls, and five Juvenile Day Reporting Centers (JDRCs) across LA County. Instruction in music, dance, theatre, visual art, and creative writing promotes skill building in the arts as well as social-emotional development. Following each 8 to 12-week cycle of instruction, students demonstrate and celebrate their learning through performances, exhibitions, or mural dedications.
Momentum is building to develop a creative career pathway program, in which youth can gain paid work-based learning experience in the arts while incarcerated, and continue that paid training with community-based organizations seamlessly upon re-entry into their communities.
Arts and Culture and the Youth Diversion & Development unit (YDD) of the LA County Department of Health Services’ Office of Diversion and Reentry have partnered to ensure that youth who are diverted away from involvement with the justice system have access to healing-centered arts experiences through their individualized diversion programs. Weekly virtual and in-person arts engagements are offered to any young person receiving diversion services through YDD’s service provider network. Adult staff at service providers sites can engage in professional learning in healing-centered arts integration, as well as experiencing arts-based self-care spaces.
LA County Partners
- LA County Department of Arts and Culture
- Department of Health Services, Office of Diversion and Reentry, Youth Diversion & Development Unit
Community Arts Instruction
Arts and Culture supports teaching artists and community-based organizations providing year-round healing-centered arts-based youth development for youth in County parks, public housing, congregate care facilities, and other community settings. These programs are either embedded within or are offered as supplemental to the site’s regular programming. Through the Creative Wellbeing Initiative, self-care spaces are held for adults who work with youth in congregate care sites, community schools, and continuation schools.
LA County Partners
- Department of Arts and Culture
- Department of Children and Family Services
- Department of Mental Health
- Department of Parks & Recreation
- Department of Public Health
- Development Authority
- Office of Child Protection
- Probation Department