In 2011, black youth in Dane County were 15 times more likely to spend time in secure detention facilities than their white peers. Once kids make their way into the justice system, it can lead to challenges that ripple throughout their lives.
Making Justice is an art program for teens who’ve had contact with the justice system, and it’s aiming to curb these numbers. The program is run by the Madison Public Library, where Jesse Vieau is a teen services librarian.
Each week, the group learns new skills that range from painting to writing raps to cooking food. The kids meet partner instructors that include students and faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and local artists, they learn that art isn’t limited to just visual art. Last month, they learned how to make pizza.
“Art to me can be gardening, it can be cooking, painting, screen printing, you know. It can be so many different things,” said program partner and local artist Carlos Gacharná [BFA ’16].