Over 400 people from across the Commonwealth filled the space at WGBH Studios in Brighton on Tuesday, May 15th to celebrate the work of youth involved with the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, at the 6th Annual Statewide DYS Youth Arts Showcase, “Share Your Art, Share Your Voice”. The Showcase is part of work to expand and integrate the arts into the academic and extracurricular programs for all youth in DYS residential facilities, and build a network of arts-related placements available to DYS youth as they transition back into their home communities; and is supported by the Commonwealth Corporation, Collaborative for Educational Services, and the Department of Youth Services, all partners in the Comprehensive Education Partnership.
More than 270 original works of art were on display and available for purchase with proceeds supporting local youth artists. Additionally, 15 youth presented original performances including singing, spoken word poetry, drumming, dancing, and more.Work ranged from small still life pieces of nature, people and and the artist’s surroundings, to sculpture, traditional fiber work, interpretations, and life sized social commentary. Some used everyday items such as footwear as the canvas.
Said DYS Commissioner Peter Forbes. “For our youth, sharing their art and their voices reinforces the healing power of the arts. For our guests, the Showcase offers an opportunity to meet our youth artists and invest in their success.”
According to Collaborative for Educational Services’ DYS Education Project Director, Woody Clift, “Each year, the youth, supported by the tremendously talented and creative art, horticulture, vocational, general and special education teachers, the Education and Career Counselors, Instructional Coaches, supervisors, and the colleagues with whom we work, wow attendees with stunning pieces and performances. Artistic experiences can be healing, empowering, rehabilitative, rejuvenating, and transformational for the emerging artist. The showcase allows for all of these possibilities to occur.”