Engaging with drawing and text as a path for youth to explore their experiences, and harness creative expression as a coping mechanism.

Artistic Minds is a formal treatment group for boys in the residential program at Parrott Creek Ranch. Initiated in 2012, the project workshops meet once per week running for 9-10 weeks and youth work with professional artists to express their thoughts and clarify their experiences through drawing and text, learning how art can be used as a positive creative outlet and viable coping mechanism. Workshops are supplemented by field trips that provide youth an opportunity to experience art and explore creative career possibilities.

At the end of the project, each youth’s artwork is matted by a generous donor. The artwork is displayed at a professional event venue provided by another generous donor. A select group of guests is invited to view the exhibit and interact with the boys about their learning and creative processes. A brief ceremony, hosted by a County Dignitary, honors the boy’s accomplishments.

Through their exposure and engagement with the arts, the youth report: they are able to use the arts as a coping mechanism, increased patience, follow through with goals, and a new appreciation for the arts.

Project Partners

Ainsworth House
Annie’s Hang Ups
Parrott Creek Child and Family Services
PlayWrite, Inc.*

*In 2014, Youth Arts for Change facilitated a new collaboration between Parrott Creek Ranch and PlayWrite, Inc. Through this collaboration, the boys at Parrott Creek Ranch have had the opportunity to experience PlayWrite’s top-notch work with “youth at the edge, supporting them as they write and direct their original plays.”