The arts are a powerful form of expression, especially for those most in need of channeling their hopes and strengths in new ways. For the first time in a long-term partnership with the Juvenile Justice Center of Cuyahoga County, CAL artists worked with the youth in their detention housing to engage in the arts in a way they have not been able to before. It opened possibilities to learn about themselves and for some, the opportunity to just be playful for the first time.
CAL artists designed projects that practiced discipline through percussion drumming, individual purpose through visual arts, drawing out and reflecting on personal experience through journaling, and creating trust through theater games. “Designing and creating a three-dimensional object can be a powerful force for change and growth,” said visual artist Kristen Cliffel. “Taking control of things that we are able to moves us forward and gives us purpose and meaning.”