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Justice + Arts: Artists join PJC to celebrate 30 years

March 24, 2016: Has a stark photograph ever stirred up your outrage about injustice? Has a protest song ever moved you to action? Art is a powerful force, motivating people to promote social change, raise consciousness, build community and create social transformation by recording history. The natural connection between art and justice often leads us to partner with local artists to put into context the importance of the Public Justice Center’s mission. So it’s only fitting that artists will join us to celebrate the PJC’s 30th anniversary on May 11.

Kids from Access Art will be among the artists present at our anniversary celebration. Access Art delivers a youth-centered after school program to address the artistic, emotional, and cognitive development of middle and high school participants. Access Art achieves these goals by providing students with a safe space to create, positive adult role models, empowering activities, leadership development, and alternatives to violence and high risk behavior. We’ve proudly displayed their art on our conference room walls for the past few years, and soon their work with the PJC will feature on a much larger canvas. In January, PJC staff John Pollock and Jennifer Pelton met with some of the Access Art teachers to work through ideas for their public service campaign curriculum and asked them to adopt the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel as one of their clients. In February we visited again, this time with Bill Geenen, our long-time graphic designer. We talked with the students about the important role lawyers play in protecting basic needs like housing, work and education. The students are exploring many facets of justice through art. We are so impressed with their enthusiasm and thrilled that they will be unveiling something new at our 30th anniversary celebration.

We are also excited to feature other great artists at the celebration. Nether, a Baltimore born/based street artist, will be creating a live art piece at the event that all are welcome to participate in making. Young photographers from Wide Angle Youth Media will be on hand to capture what justice means to you. Luminous Intervention, an artist collective that uses large-scale video projections in public spaces to highlight social and economic issues, will also be on hand. We hope to see you on May 11 for this celebration of justice through art.

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