Since early 2010, Project NIA and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum have partnered to sponsor a comic arts project for youth to address the history and current manifestations of the juvenile justice system. This is part of the Museum’s new interactive exhibit called Unfinished Business: Juvenile Justice. Project NIA and the Hull House Museum first co-sponsored a comic arts workshop at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC) in August 2010. Teaching artist Elgin Smith worked with young men and women who are incarcerated at JTDC for several weeks to create art work that will be turned into a graphic novel to be released in the Spring of 2011. Below are a couple of the pieces that were created by youth during the workshops:
For the second part of this project, Project NIA and the Hull House Museum were joined by the Chicago Freedom School (CFS) to offer a comic arts workshop for youth on the outside. Nine youth worked with teaching artist Rachel Williams to create art which will also be incorporated into the final zine.
NIA volunteer and incoming CFS board co-chair, Eva Nagao was instrumental in coordinating the second workshop series which was held at the Chicago Freedom School over the course of 5 Saturdays in October and November.
Eva has created a new blog called Cradle 2 Prison: Examining the Juvenile Justice System through Art. The site will provide ongoing information about the workshops as well as other resources such as infographics and art that depict the juvenile and adult criminal legal systems. Special thanks to Eva for putting this together!