PYA workshops and residencies consist of weekly 1-2 hour long workshops held in correctional facilities and in the community. These workshops are taught by professional artists specializing in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Many of our artists practice art forms that are an extension of their cultural heritage, thus introducing participants to a diverse pool of artists and traditions. Below is a sampling of our programming.

Visual Arts

Mural arts: These residencies normally span 8-10 sessions. Artists lead participants in a discussion about the process of creating public art, share information about the proposed location (if it has been identified) and brainstorm about imagery for the mural. In many cases the artist uses ideas and sketches from the brainstorming session to create an overall sketch, and then youth work collaboratively to paint the mural. Murals have been painted on walls in detention centers and on panels that can be placed in the community.

Drawing and Painting:  Artists lead workshops in a wide range of drawing and painting styles and techniques. Participants learn techniques for rendering landscapes and portraits, as well as abstracted forms. Participants are also introduced to a variety of mark-making materials.

Mixed Media:  Artists introduce participants to a variety of mixed media processes, including but not limited to collage, assemblage, printmaking, weaving, etc.

Mosaic:  Mosaic workshops take place periodically in community settings, such as the Choice Program of the Shriver Center in Baltimore. These residencies often run 6 sessions and provide participants with the opportunity to work independently and collaboratively on mosaic pieces.

Sculpture:  Artists lead workshops and ongoing residencies in ceramics (handbuilding and wheel throwing), paper sculpture, and plaster sculpture. Functional pieces, masks, and decorative sculptures are made and often given to family members or donated.  

Literary Arts

Poetry:  Poets introduce youth to their poems by reading them aloud and discuss their writing style and delivery. Youth then participate in writing exercises, and in some cases have the opportunity to read their poems to the group.

Performing Arts

Storytelling:  Storytellers share stories (some personal and some traditional) with youth, and afterward lead discussions breaking down what makes a good story, how the performer can use movement and changes in their voice to enhance the delivery, etc. Youth also participate in “theater games” that help to loosen them up, get them moving, and be more comfortable speaking and performing in front of the group.

Music:  Musicians often begin residencies with a short performance to introduce youth to their style of music and to pique their interest. Workshops in African Drumming, guitar, ukulele, and choral music give participants an opportunity to learn basic skills associated with playing these instruments while getting to play and release some pent up energy in a safe and constructive way.