At the Red Hook Community Justice Center, we are always working to identify meaningful community service projects for young people – mandatory and voluntary. This is often easier said than done, with a lot of false starts and hiccups along the way.
However, we are fortunate to have some incredible community-based organizations to assist us in this endeavor. Our longstanding collaboration with one such partner, Groundswell Community Mural Project, is featured this week in a local arts-oriented paper, the Brooklyn Rail. The article traces the story of a high school sophomore who was connected to Groundswell to fulfill the community service requirement assigned to him by the Red Hook Youth Court, after a conversation during his hearing about his interest in art. We also hear from a teen artist about the process that goes into designing and creating the mural that will soon go up on a wall in the youth programs space at the Justice Center:
“We started by doing research on Red Hook. We went to the Court and talked to kids. We researched the area’s crime level, which is high, but we also saw that the system typically finds it easier to put people in jail rather than try to help them. Community courts are different. They find out why you do stuff like sell drugs or not go to school. We talked a lot and decided we wanted the mural to be warm and welcoming and show the faces of youth.”
|Detail from "Some Walls are Invisible," a mural on the Red Hook waterfront created in a partnership between the Groundswell Community Mural Project and the Red Hook Community Justice Center in 2010.|
To read the full article, click here. (clarification: the mural will not be up in the actual courtroom, but it will be up in our youth programs space).