Arts Council of New Orleans receives 3-year United Way of Southeast Louisiana grant for Young Artist Movement (YAM) Program

This 3-year, $40,000 per year grant will support four annual cycles of programming (winter, spring, summer, fall), including at least one at the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC). On average, each program is 6-10 weeks, 100-hours total, and serves around 20 youth.

Young Artist Movement (YAM) is Arts New Orleans’ arts education and workforce development program for creative youth ages 14-24. YAM’s goals are to:

  1. Cultivate young people’s sense of belonging and connection to their community as they transform public spaces through beautiful artwork and express their voices in a positive way;
  2. Promote socio-emotional wellbeing through a caring and creative environment;
  3. Provide youth with professional, entrepreneurial, and academic skills that expand their future employment and educational prospects.

YAM instills multiple skills, including art/design, socioemotional skills, digital literacy, and leadership. The youth artists receive a stipend for their hard work, which relieves family or work responsibilities that often hinder student attendance. For Juvenile Justice Intervention Center youth, these funds are a critical resource for youth when they are released from detention.

Young Artist Movement (YAM) was founded in 2016 by a collective of youth advocates from Arts New Orleans, Criminal District Court, Xavier University Art Department, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and YAYA, among others, who continue to serve as program advisors. In the design and development of our arts-based diversion program, we actively participated in a community coalition that was formed to develop alternatives to prosecution and incarceration. This group included the St. Charles Center for Faith + Action, Ubuntu Village, Center for Restorative Approaches, and Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights.