Monday, August 23, 2010

Louisa and Tina Talk Teens

Last week, AMF Documenter Coordinator, Louisa Garcia visited with Tina Reyes at the San Diego Center for Children (SDCC).  Gathering research for an  upcoming article, Louisa was curious on how SDCC incorporates art into their programs with at-risk-teens. 

Tina described how the Center uses various forms of art therapy to help provide an opportunity to both educate and to heal.  The teens are taken off-campus twice a month to  attend arts classes. There they are allowed to draw, sketch, paint, and create various art pieces.  According to one teen, “…drawing helps me release all my emotions, I can get all my feeling out on paper by drawing something, and in turn, it makes me feel calm…”   The Center also has its own art room which provides the opportunity for the clients to draw, paint and incorporating other things such as tie-dying, wood working, and sculpting.   Some of their work has even be used at Center auctions and fundraising events. Music therapy is also an integral part of the healing process at the Center.  “Healing Rhythms” drums circles are used to address mood and leadership abilities.  In these groups, teens do not use words to express themselves, rather they play beats to describe their emotions and feelings.    

Starting in September 2010, three more genres of art will be introduced to the Center’s Life Skills Program at the Clark Adolescent Treatment Facility .  Over the course of the next several months the teens will be introduced to the fields of photography, art history, and fashion.  Several lectures and outings to various museums will be scheduled to teach them about  these fields.  Additionally, artists are currently being scheduled to speak at the Center in hopes of inspiring these young adults and introducing them to an otherwise unfamiliar world of art.

~ Tina Reyes, San Diego Center for Children

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