TeamWorks Art Mentoring & Apprenticeship Program’s mission is to expand access by at-risk youth to arts education so they can share the same benefits of a comprehensive education as their higher-income level peers. The economic disparity within Marin shows in under-prioritized alternative education schools. TeamWorks provides the only consistent, on-going arts engagement for at-risk youth ages 11-18 in Juvenile Justice and in Alternative Education in Marin. Students who enter Marin’s juvenile justice system and lower-prioritized alternative schools receive limited to no arts education within the system. These sites draw from all areas of Marin County.
TeamWorks founding artists Patrick Maloney and Katya McCulloch seek out artists who share a passionate commitment to community art, have demonstrated experience as professional artists, and appreciate the multi-faceted intensity of working with this population.
New fiscal sponsorship through the William James Association and a new super-lean infrastructure enable TeamWorks to continue offering arts intervention with existing partnerships to underserved youth with a high standard of professionalism. William James Association shares the commitment to hands-on arts involvement and community service.
TeamWorks has demonstrated success in the three areas of arts education, one-on-one mentoring and community art projects and exhibits. TeamWorks artists create a social climate where students are creatively engaged in arts-learning and collaboration. Exhibitions and participation in public art projects build a bridge to the broader community offering students the opportunity to contribute positively to the community. TeamWorks provides one-on-one mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities to youth who demonstrate interest to further develop their artistic talent.
By engaging youth in creating artwork TeamWorks inspires participants to transform negative behavior into constructive action. Disadvantaged students deserve a chance to engage in positive and constructive activities at a time when they are most vulnerable to community violence, self-destructive behavior, and gang recruitment–possibly the only familiar forms of expression. Youth art programs are powerful, well-documented crime prevention tools. Arts intervention can help participants learn to envision possibilities and create savings to the criminal justice system. Through high quality arts involvement alienated and underserved youth can develop pro-social behavior by building better relations with adults, increasing motivation and attendance in school, reducing disruptive behavior and criminal activity, and heightening educational goals.
TeamWorks Program’s long-standing partnership with Marin County Probation Department (Department of Juvenile Services) and Marin County Office of Education (Alternative Education) has built a high level of cooperative trust. TeamWorks artists are welcomed on campus and incorporated into a tightly knit teaching support team of staff, supervisors, teachers, counselors, volunteers, and probation officers. The on-going relationship with students is a vital component of TeamWorks’ success.
TeamWorks enables at-risk youth to experience the benefits of an arts-rich school environment. Visual arts teaching engenders engaged focus, perseverance, flexibility and the ability to learn from mistakes and accidents. Keeping students engaged and in school through arts intervention leads to adults who are more creative, innovative and better prepared to deal with the challenges of the world.