RAM’s Creative Horizons Program Receives Award for Excellence
RAM’s Creative Horizons Program Receives 2019 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence Art program for at-risk and probationary youth honored
Riverside, CA—The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) has been selected to receive a 2019 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for our Creative Horizons program. The six award-winning organizations will be presented with their awards by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond (or his designee) at a Plenary Breakfast in San Francisco on Saturday, February 9, 2019, 8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m., held in conjunction with CAM’s annual conference. This is the second Superintendent’s Award RAM has won. RAM won previously for Art-to-Go.
The Superintendent’s Awards for Excellence in Museum Education competition is a joint project between the California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This year, CAM received 21 entries from a diverse range of institutions, representing the significant contributions museums make to California’s K-12 educational system.
RAM’s Creative Horizons program harnesses the power of art as a catalyst for behavioral change in its work with justice-involved youth. Art programming for at-risk and probationary youth fosters self-exploration, encourages community engagement, develops mentor relationships, and creates awareness of creative-industry vocational opportunities. Specifically, the program brings a group of justice-involved youth together—either onsite at the museum, in the community, or at juvenile detention centers—to learn art fundamentals and then collaboratively design and paint a large-scale mural.
“Our Creative Horizons program is an example of how a community can come together to create innovative solutions,” says RAM Executive Director, Drew Oberjuerge. “It was a local juvenile court judge who approached RAM several years ago with the idea to create arts programming to serve the needs of justice-involved youth. Local individuals stepped up to seed this program—like the Avila Family/Riverside Tamale Factory. The youth loved the program and, due to our initial success, RAM was able to then secure foundation, county, and state support to continue and expand it.”
“Today, we are proud to count the Riverside County Probation Department, Riverside County Youth Accountability Team, Riverside County Alan M. Crogan Youth Treatment and Education Center, Riverside Police Department and Riverside Police Foundation, CalGrip–Corona, and the Assistance League as project partners,” says RAM Director of Art Education and Community Engagement, Caryn Marsella. “The youth have created murals now on exhibit at Castle Park, Tyler Galleria, Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, Southwest and Riverside Juvenile Halls, at the Riverside County Spanish Town Heritage Foundation’s historic Trujillo Adobe, and at community centers such as schools and faith-based organizations throughout Riverside County. Justice-involved youth have complex histories that have contributed to some of the challenges they’ve faced, so for them, their finished art created in the Creative Horizons program represents commitment, teamwork, success, and achievement. For us, it represents hope that the lessons learned on the canvas can be applied to their lives for the better.”
Americans for the Arts reports that, “Art programs designed for under-served youth have proven to be powerful and effective crime prevention tools. An increasing number of community-based organizations, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, youth museums, libraries, and parks and recreation departments are using arts programs to reduce risky behaviors and build critical self-discipline, communication, and job skills.”
Says Riverside Police Department Chief Sergio Diaz:
Investing in the development of our young people is one of the strongest and most cost-effective methods for securing our public safety. The Riverside Police Department and the Riverside Police Foundation are committed to working with all partners to help our city’s young people achieve their full potential. We are very proud of the Creative Horizons program and of our partnership with the Riverside Art Museum and the Riverside County Probation Department. The Creative Horizons program provides an opportunity for youth who have been involved with the criminal justice system to discover a talent that they did not know they had. For some of the young people in the program, this arts instruction program may be the first time that an adult has offered positive and respectful feedback for the young person’s expression. From experience, we know that hope and respect are the vehicles that will lead these young people out of the criminal lifestyle. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Riverside Arts Museum through the Creative Horizons program.
“Some youth just need a positive role model and a pro-social experience to turn their lives around,” says Riverside County Superior Court Judge Roger Luebs. “RAM’s Creative Horizons program offers such opportunities in spades. It is a model for how to engage the community in reducing delinquent behavior and helping our youth be more successful.”
To support this program by making a monetary donation, visit: www.riversideartmuseum.org/creativehorizons.
The Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibits and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 60-plus-year-old, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon–4:00 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.RiversideArtMuseum.org. For information about the proposed Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry at the Riverside Art Museum, visit thecheechcenter.org. Find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riversideartmuseum), Twitter (RAMRiverside), Instagram (@riversideartmuseum), and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/ramarts).