Thursday, April 26, 2007

TYC Youth Art

Looking around the Texas Youth Commission website I ran across this page with links to TYC students poetry and artwork. I was unaware the Gainesville unit had "won a two-year $198,000 grant in 1999 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to bring fine arts instruction to teenage offenders." No word on the site whether the program continued when the grant was over, but perhaps a reader who works there can let us know what happened to it. In any event, here are some examples posted of student art:

This one looks like a mural you might see in any Mexican high school:

Of the student poetry, I particularly liked this item from a page of haiku, also from one of the Gainesville kids:

Confusion is a
Walk on the dark side of town
While you’re all alone.

When I got locked up,
I felt the rage for the world

Like a hurricane.

- Caleb

Ain't it the truth? Confusion is indeed a walk on the dark side of town.


Anonymous said...

Our youth make and write and sing some absolutely stunning things. There's one program where the youth make the most beautiful mosaic topped tables. The barbq pits they make at Gainesville and Giddings are really neat. And some of the boys at San Saba recently won ribbons at the county fair for their baked goods. :) The poetry some of the kids write makes me cry. Some of the faciltiies have very good youth choirs.

Art is one of the best therapeutic outlets for a lot of these kids and I hope that's something that can be expanded with all the changes to the agency.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Huh - I hadn't heard art programs mentioned during all the debate about what should happen at TYC. What else can you tell me about what art programs deserve funding priority and what could be expanded? I agree art is a great outlet for troubled kids. I'd love to hear others thoughts on the state of current art programs at TYC and what should be done to improve them.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that a lot of these kids are coming from public schools where funding for art classes has been cut for reasons that are well known.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:09--

I couldn't agree more. I just called Sen. Hinojosa's office to mention this post, and found out that they are interested in hearing more about the importance of art programs in TYC. I urge you to call your senator/rep and tell them about this post and the importance of the arts in TYC. The more support folks voice for the good programming inside of TYC (arts, vocational, etc.), the more likely it is that the Legislature will support and FUND it.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon at 2:09. I am by no means an expert on arts programs inside TYC. I've just been lucky enough to experience some of them first hand. Every year students at the different facilities donate things they've made in various vocational classes to be given away at the TYC Administrators Conference. That's where I first saw the mosaic tables. There are usually so many beautiful objects made by the kids at that conference it's hard to decide which one you wish you'd win. :) And my job has involved visiting almost all of the facilities (I haven't made it to Sheffield yet) so I've seen the art projects up on the walls in the schools...the murals and paintings and wood and metal shop projects. I've gotten to hear the youth choir from Giddings when they came to sing at Central Office.

I'm no expert...but I see a couple of the local representatives at political meetups and will be sure to talk to them and call my actual rep about it. And I may be able to put a bee in the ear of someone who is more of an expert than I am.

Anonymous said...

Grits… you should see it... you'd be taken back by what these kids are learning in TYC. This one kid who got his welding certificate wrote back thanking us for these vocational educational programs. His 40 hour week, with that certificate and his performance on the job, netted him more than I am making now as a 21 year vet in juvenile justice with a degree. But that's good. I'm not in this service for the money. I'm in it for kids like him. Great story.

If you want to see it for yourself, we’ll take you to Giddings (60 miles from Austin). Let me know if you want and I’ll get you there… lunch on me… send me your e-mail address and keep my name out of this blog and you’ll see it first hand.

Anonymous said...

I got one of those mosaic tables - they are STUNNING!!

TYC's educational programming and workforce development programs are very, very good. I have seen focus group and survey results from kids, and workforce preparation and development is one of the things they have consistently said WORKS and helps them the most.

Of course, nobody wanted to hear that when all those principals and teachers drove hundreds of miles to share that.

I've seen both those pieces of artwork in person as well. They are captivating.

Anonymous said...

mosaic top tables come from Mart

Gritsforbreakfast said...

A day trip to Giddings sounds fun, and for an unemployed blogger throwing in lunch makes it a two-fer. And I'm pretty good about keeping sources mum, for the record. The email is shenson[AT] Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just so you know Grits- the Giddings campus does not look like most or all TYC facilities. Other than the security fence, you would think it's a college campus. It's one of the prettier campus' TYC has.

Anonymous said...

it's nice to read some good things about TYC..........those kids have talent!

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