Creating a World Without Youth Prisons: Using Arts to Center Youth Voice in the Justice Movement
Recorded On: 10/08/2019
About this Webinar
How can we use arts to create a world without youth prisons? Performing Statistics is a cultural organizing project that uses art to model, imagine, and advocate for alternatives to youth incarceration. In this webinar, participants will learn how Performing Statistics is using art to center youth impacted by the juvenile justice system in the movement to close youth prisons and invest in communities. The Performing Statistics Co-Directors will explain their process of art-making with youth and how they partner with organizers and advocates to ensure that young people most impacted by the juvenile justice system are connected to policymakers.
- To learn more about the Performing Statistics project and the urgency of the youth justice movement
- To learn about strategies for using art to affect systems change
- To discuss the importance of centering impacted populations in policy change work
- To gather tools for working with system-involved youth
Project Director, Performing Statistics
Project Director Trey Hartt is part of the team of co-directors for Performing Statistics who guide the project’s direction. As Project Director he ensures that the project’s operations are consistent with its values and creative processes, that people are cared for and properly resourced, and that the young people in the project have the resources they need to stay resilient. In 2006, he began working with The Conciliation Project, a Richmond-based social justice theatre company that ignites dialogue about racism in America. From there he worked at Virginians for the Arts advocating for state funding for the arts, Alternate ROOTS as the Resources for Social Change program coordinator, and then at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities leading their fundraising efforts and programs for schools on issues of diversity and inclusion. Most recently, he was ART 180’s Deputy Director where he managed all administrative staff, led all fund development efforts, and supported special projects like Performing Statistics. Trey is Past President of Alternate ROOTS, a regional organization in the Southeast US that supports the creation and presentation of original art to eliminate oppression.
Creative Director, Performing Statistics
Creative Director Mark Strandquist is part of the team of co-directors for Performing Statistics who guide the project’s direction. He ensures that the Performing Statistics creative processes are ethical, equitable, and rooted in radical imagination. A photographer and filmmaker by training, his work has received numerous awards, fellowships, national residencies, and reached wide audiences through The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, The Washington Post, PBS Newshour, VICE, and a multitude of other news outlets. At the core of his practice is the belief that those most impacted by the criminal justice system are the experts society needs to listen to, and that by connecting those directly affected with a multitude of community experts and political stakeholders, change can be created on personal and systemic levels. In 2016, he and his partner Courtney Bowles were awarded A Blade of Grass fellowship for Socially Engaged Art to begin the Philadelphia Reentry Think Tank. Mark continues to co-direct the Reentry Think Tank in Philly in addition to the People’s Paper Co-Op.
Engagement Director, Performing Statistics
Engagement Director Gina Lyles is part of the team of co-directors for Performing Statistics who guide the project’s direction. She supports the human-to-human connections that ground Performing Statistics in authentic relationships with youth, credible messenger mentors, and partners. Gina leverages her own life experiences as a self-described, “school-to-prison pipeline survivor” in and out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems since the age of eight, to navigate and empower youth caught in the school-to-prison pipeline. She began her journey with Performing Statistics at ART 180 as a program assistant for a hip hop class using her skills as an emcee and rapper to support kids at the middle school level. She soon was leading her own hip hop music and writing programs. When Performing Statistics was founded in 2014, Gina was the first program leader assisting in the implementation of the earliest creative programs and was promoted to Program Coordinator in 2015 after the project received its first major grant. After just a year, Gina became Program Manager and helped grow the project with a particular emphasis on the youth development and credible messenger mentoring aspects. Gina left ART 180 in 2019 to launch her own business, So Focused Consulting, LLC, before becoming the Performing Statistics Engagement Director.