Project Youth ArtReach (PYA) promotes positive youth development by providing juvenile offenders in detention, corrections, and probation settings with arts programs taught by master artists to enhance youth’s cognitive, linguistic, social, and civic development. As youth engage with a diverse group of professional artists, they acquire skills in visual, literary, and performing arts. By exploring themes of respect and values from other cultures, youth learn lessons in tolerance, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

Launched in 2000, PYA programs reach upwards of 2,500 youth per year at several sites in Maryland. Professional artists lead 16 – 18 workshops per week, including classes in ceramics, painting, mixed media, drumming, poetry, storytelling, guitar and dance. A series of workshops often culminates in youth poetry readings, donation of artwork to the community (e.g., murals installed in public places) or drumming demonstrations.


March 2018 PYA presentation

Donate to PYA 

By giving to Project Youth ArtReach you support positive youth development for our community’s most disaffected youth. You also help youthful offenders build the life and work skills they need once returned to their homes and communities. Youth, who learn to channel their emotions through creative self-expression, have a better chance of living a productive and fulfilling life. Furthermore, Project Youth ArtReach contributes to the community with donated artwork to government and community organizations. Your contribution will have a multiplier effect: serving the needs of court-involved youth and creating art the entire community can enjoy.


Funding for Project Youth ArtReach provided by:

  • Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Maryland State Arts Council
  • Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
  • The Choice Program of the Shriver Center at UMBC
  • United Way of the National Capital Region
  • Corina Higginson Trust
  • Montgomery County Correctional Facility
  • Sharing Montgomery Fund
  • Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Cultural Excellence Grant