Baltimore Youth Arts

Nicholas Mitchel (Fellow) and Kisha Webster (President, Greenmount West Community Association)

At Baltimore Youth Arts, we believe there are more effective alternatives to youth involved in the justice system than currently exist. As an artist-run, creative entrepreneurship and job readiness program that focuses on youth who have contact with the justice system, we provide one of those alternatives. 

Baltimore Youth Arts believes the arts are a path toward personal liberation and self-sufficiency, and that they not only impact youth facing incarceration, but also the justice system and perceptions held by the greater community. As such, we go into local juvenile facilities and provide youth arts workshops. We also provide year-round programming to youth in the community including classes in job and life skills, and collaborative art projects under the guidance of professional artists.

Having done this work for 10 years, I can see that our current systems are not beneficial for youth or public safety. Now that we’re more established and in our new space, I was happy to be able to host a Baltimore Corps Fellow to further advance this work. We found a great match in Leisha, who was looking to use her skills in grant writing, administration, and fundraising to help address the very visible disparities of system-involved youth of color.

Our next steps are to develop our new space to amplify the works of young people in community. We are working to build funding, employ youth, and assist those who have gone through our programs while incarcerated. Support our current campaign: