Project Youth ArtReach


Project Youth ArtReach (PYA) promotes positive youth development by providing juvenile offenders in detention, corrections, and probation settings with arts programs taught by master artists to enhance youth's cognitive, linguistic, social, and civic development. As youth engage with a diverse group of professional artists, they acquire skills in visual, literary, and performing arts. By exploring themes of respect and values from other cultures, youth learn lessons in tolerance, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

Launched in 2000, PYA programs reach upwards of 2,500 youth per year at several sites in Maryland. Professional artists lead 16 – 18 workshops per week, including classes in ceramics, painting, mixed media, drumming, poetry, storytelling, guitar and dance. A series of workshops often culminates in youth poetry readings, donation of artwork to the community (e.g., murals installed in public places) or drumming demonstrations.


Funding for Project Youth ArtReach has come from:

Maryland Department of Juvenile Services

National Endowment for the Arts

Maryland State Arts Council

Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

The Choice Program of the Shriver Center at UMBC

United Way of the National Capital Region

Corina Higginson Trust

Montgomery County Correctional Facility

Sharing Montgomery Fund

Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation

Wells Fargo Cultural Excellence Grant