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Posted on: September 11, 2018

Connecting with Teens through A.R.T. for Life

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Brazos County, TX – A.R.T. for Life is celebrating ten years of success in Brazos County!  This collaborative effort between Brazos County Juvenile Services and the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley has had a positive impact on at-risk teens since 2008. 

A.R.T. (Art Reaching Teens) for Life provides an opportunity for teens in juvenile detention or on probation to work with a local artist to create a piece of public art.  The program gives these young people a positive outlet for their creative energy, while teaching them patience and teamwork.  As a large-scale creation can take months to produce, it allows the teens an opportunity to work on developing patience through the process of generating an idea, turning that into a sketch, and eventually working together as a team to create something in which they can take pride. 

Local artist Le Hale worked with nine juveniles over the summer of 2018.  The theme for this year’s project was “justice.”  Hale explained to Brazos County commissioners that, when she had the teens do some research on justice, they decided to expand on the idea that Lady Justice is blind, justice fights for you, and justice is fair. 

This 6’ x 9’ painting will hang alongside another A.R.T. for Life installment in the atrium of the Brazos County Administration Building.  It is a vivid reminder of the positive impact this program has had on at-risk juveniles in our community.  According to the Arts Council website, almost 200 teens have participated in the A.R.T. for Life program in the past ten years, and 83% of those participants have not returned to jail.  Whether that speaks to the impact that art can have on a person, or the impact this program has on these teens doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that some young lives have changed for the better, and they’ve left a positive mark on the community through their art.

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