National Symposium for Juvenile Services

Back in March of 2017, an administrator from our residency at the Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School approached us about applying to be presenters at a symposium for those who work detained youth. This symposium was organized by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services and we quickly and excitedly organized our application. After a few months, we were happy to hear that our workshop submission had been requested and that Herine and I would be traveling to Orlando, Florida to discuss our work at NBJ with some of the leaders in juvenile justice and services in the country.

When deciding on what would speak on, there were plenty of options. Of course, we wanted to highlight the work we’ve been doing at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Youth Detention Center for the past 3 years, but how would we best share the information we’ve gathered? We could not think of a better way than to have the participants of our workshop, participate in the same activities that the students of NBJ do.

Herine and I arrived in Orlando in mid-October and were thrilled to get started. We had an extremely successful workshop that explained the progression of Fifth House Ensemble’s educational programming and how we began working at NBJ. The second half of our allotted time brought some amazing creativity from the participants in the creation of original graphic scores that were performed live.

While we were happy to feel the success of our workshop, the most rewarding part of our visit to Orlando was in what we learned from others. Through questions and answer with participants of our workshop, made us realize parts of our programming that we can strive to improve. Also, I was able to meet and talk with individuals who work with arts programming in facilities around the country. With our continued involvement with national programs such as the National Symposium for Juvenile Services, not only do we get to share the wonderful work we do in our residency programs, but we are able to learn from the top minds in the fields we’re working in.

We can’t wait for our next opportunity to share and learn!

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