California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

June 17, 2015Caitlin Fitzwater

Arts Organizations Receive California Arts Council Grants for Programs Benefiting At-Risk Youth

California Arts Council awards more than $200,000 to support high-quality arts education programs within the juvenile justice system

Sacramento -

 Eight organizations in diverse locations across California will receive funds to provide arts programs benefiting at-risk youth, through the Arts Council's pilot competitive grant program, Juveniles Utilizing Massive Potential Starting with Arts (JUMP StArts).

Now in its second year, JUMP StArts supports arts education and artist-in-residence programs for the target population of at-risk youth-youth within the jurisdiction of California's juvenile justice system-in classroom, after-school, or incarceration settings.

"This continued investment in California's at-risk youth will greatly benefit our state's most vulnerable young people and our communities," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "Research from the National Endowment for the Arts confirms that the arts are a successful tool in redirecting at-risk youth. At-risk students with access to the arts tend to have higher career goals, better workforce opportunities, better academic results, and increased civic engagement."

JUMP StArts requires partnerships between arts organizations and juvenile justice entities, and supports new or expanded arts services for at-risk youth in the juvenile justice setting. Thirty-three organizations applied for JUMP StArts funds, with only eight organizations receiving awards for this highly competitive and limited-funds grant program.  

JUMP StArts Grant Recipients (in alphabetical order)

Destiny Arts Center (Alameda County) Destiny Arts Center will partner with Butler Academic Center and Camp Wilmont Sweeney to bring up to 120 justice-involved youth (ages 14-19) year-long hip hop dance and spoken word programs taught by professional teaching artists. Programs will be offered during the school day, provide critical socio-emotional and physical outlets for these youth, and support Common Core standards. $33,445

Diablo Ballet (Contra Costa County) The Ballet's PEEK Extension will partner with Martinez Juvenile Hall's Mt. McKinley School. PEEK Extension expands on the PEEK Program, which has provided arts education to 65,000 at-risk students since 1995. Students receive guidance from professional dancers in using movement to express their emotions and experiences. $10,535

Mariposa County Arts Council The Mariposa County Arts Council will develop and launch a new visual arts program for probation and foster youth in Mariposa County. In partnership with Sierra Quest Human Services Foundation the initiative will develop and bring a 35-week artist-in-residency program focused on visual literacy and applied visual communication skills to at-risk youth in Mariposa. $13,300

Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Orange County) A comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program at Crittenton's Valley View alternative school will engage foster girls in arts experiences including ceramics, 3D modeling, photography, painting/drawing, and e-Design. $30,400

Street Poets Inc. (Los Angeles County) Four 10-week poetry workshops, and accompanying programming (open mics, poetry in motion, van workshops and a culminating event for the larger community), will reach approximately 50 youth at Camp Gonzales. Participating youth will also receive access to social service support, educational advancement, and additional transitional services provided by the project collaborators. Arts impact on the youth will be measured and shared with the community. $26,600

Theatre of Hearts/Youth First (Los Angeles County) Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First will partner with Los Padrinos School (LPS) to deliver visual art and creative writing residencies with professional artists and writers to 200 students. Original writings from underserved youth, aged 14-18, will inspire the design of a large-scale mural created and installed by students to express anti-bullying themes. A Mural Dedication Ceremony open to parents and civic leaders features readings of student work. $35,000

Ventura County Arts Council The Arts Council will bring arts instruction to the Recovery Classroom Program, an alternative sentencing program for juveniles with recurring addiction issues at Gateway Community School. Weekly classes in theater-based writing and performance, and poetry writing and reciting will be offered. $22,750

Yolo Arts (Yolo County) YoloArts will provide an arts education program at the Yolo County Juvenile Hall, Dan Jacobs School. One hundred students will participate in two 12-week visual arts, music and performing arts education sessions, tailored to their unique situations. $31,640

About the JUMP StArts Program

The funded projects address the following goals:

  • Provide opportunities for arts participation and arts education to wards of the Juvenile Court System.
  • Develop or strengthen partnerships between social service providers/juvenile justice facilities for the target population and arts organizations/artists serving the same.
  • Identify potential criteria for measuring longitudinal success.
  • Demonstrate the value of arts education and arts participation for at-risk youth to juvenile justice and social service entities.
  • Increase opportunities for California teaching artists and artists in residence in juvenile justice facilities.

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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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