Studies have found that children who grow up in micro-communities with high rates of exposure to violence are at greater risk for academic failure, delinquency and gang membership. The most effective interventions to prevent these negative outcomes are implemented in early childhood (K-6), before adolescents have engaged in risk-taking behavior. Additionally, protective factors such as well-organized after-school programs, opportunities for the arts and pro-social activities, as well as the presence and involvement of supportive adults can act as positive “buffers.” For example, at-risk youth who have consistent, positive exposure to the arts, both fine and theatrical, are less likely to drop out of school, join gangs or participate in risky behaviors more generally. Finally, research demonstrates that youth-focused, community-oriented policing can successfully reduce crime and victimization as well as deter youth from gang membership.The research is clear: To prevent inter-generational poverty and future criminality, a multi pronged, tailored and community-based effort is necessary.
The Arts and
performances are effective ways to prevent or
reduce crime. By reaching these safe passage children
with each performance, class, musical or display, arts and
performances increase awareness and refresh
anti-gang messages for those young children who may have heard
but forgotten them. The Arts also communicate
messages in multiple ways to emphasize key
ideas, allowing our local children to use their artistic, musical,
dramatic, and other talents to deliver vital
information of their expressive feelings to the community. The arts are not a "feel good" remedy. The arts can save a future community from violence.
“Art can be a tool to educate people. Art humanizes people and gives them an outlet and ability to see their potential. Art in itself, the picture, has meaning and impact but the actual process of going through the art and creating the art gives us our individual and collective humanity.”
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