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Arts Commission

Restorative Justice and the Arts

The Restorative Justice and the Arts program is a partnership with Metro Arts, the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) and the Oasis Center to create an arts-integrated intervention system for court-involved youth that focuses on resiliency, positive youth development, and restoring empowered youth and families.

Under the leadership of Judge Sheila Calloway, JJC officials support court-involved youth to heal, grow and thrive by assessing each individual’s skills and needs and connecting them and their families to resources aimed at health and well-being. As there is growing evidence that long term, sustained arts learning and arts experiences have deep and lasting positive impact on children’s cognitive development, through this partnership, we are helping to facilitate artists to create programming inclusive of children and youth who have been involved with the justice system. Through these arts interactions, youth develop a growing capacity for emotional attachment, empathy, reasoning, decision-making, trust, self-identity, and self and community esteem.

Our goal is to provide youth with arts experiences that provide opportunities for mentorship in protective environments that emphasize ways youth can shine and be celebrated.

Through quality programming that is trauma-informed and anchored in positive youth development practices, the program positions the arts as a part of restorative practice and creates a protective environment for court-involved youth to heal, grow and thrive. Introducing them to a wide variety of art forms (drumming, dance, theater, spoken word, visual art, etc.) not only unlocks their potential by teaching skills in perseverance, self-expression, empathy, community building, but also empowers the youth to make more positive choices.

The Restorative Justice & the Arts program is funded through Mayor Megan Barry’s Public Investment Plan (PIP) initiative.

Contact Rebecca Kinslow at rebecca.kinslow@nashville.gov or 615-862-6737 with questions.