Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center at Wittenberg Hall is a secure holding facility for the temporary detention of juvenile offenders. The space is constructed and conducted with the intention of being as like a home as possible. The site provides educational, physical, emotional, and social needs of detained juveniles. Teaching artist Polly Peacock is in her tenth year providing arts education at Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center. Funded by Sierra Arts, she teaches two, 1.5 hour classes, per week. Her approach with these young adults, aged 12-17, is aimed to inspire, educate, and motivate. Her approach to collage, poetry, and creative writing builds confidence and creates an outlet for alleviating feelings of anger or aggression. Students have presented their artwork in court and disciplinary meetings with parole officers to assist in communication about their experiences and feelings.
Turning Point High School is an alternative school site with the mission of returning students to their zoned schools and/or to beneficial employment. Turning Point believes, “despite where I come from, I have the power to change, I am expected to make better choices, today will be my Turning Point.” Students at Turning Point are provided with the support needed to ensure educational, intellectual, social-emotional, and vocational development to enable them to be productive members in their community. Teaching artist Pan Pantoja serves Turning Point students Monday-Friday during third period. His approach to arts education includes poetry, spoken word, creative writing, and illustration.
Washoe Innovations High School is an alternative high school aimed to ensure students graduate prepared to purse their career of choice, while accomplishing their life goals. They provide alternative classroom locations, evening classes, and classes geared towards expecting and parenting teens. Using a team approach that coordinates with families, school administrators, school staff, and outside social service agencies, as well as Sierra Arts, means that the non-academic and the academic needs of each student in the program can be adequately and holistically addressed. Ray Valdez is in his second year teaching arts education at Innovations. Recently, Ray led a workshop and celebration of Dia De Los Muertos in which students created traditional masks and decorated an alter or, ofrenda with sugar skulls, marigolds, and photographs.