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Many of NYC’s youth are being arrested for graffiti because their creative intentions have not been properly guided. Since the programming is not available to them in school, they miss out on important details that could help them become real artists.

Ten kids (as young as 12 years old) arrested for graffiti had their work on display after finishing Paint Straight, a New York City Probation Department program that teaches young vandals legal ways to hone their art. In their rehabilitation workshops, Paint Straight teaches drawing, painting, leadership, business, law and history specific to the culture they know and love. By providing youth with materials to express what they have learned on a clean canvas, Paint Straight is teaching them how to be a part of an art industry responsibly. This program was launched just last year and has already produced 33 graduates. Brooklyn Cupcake strongly believes that if our respectitive communities work together to help build and support programs like, Paint Straight, our youth will learn that there are other ways to express themselves in a positive manner. Paint
Straight had its first gallery show at Shop Talk and Art Gallery and will soon have some of their artwork displayed on the walls of our Williamsburg shop!  Brooklyn Cupcake wants to send the message to these kids that there are many people in their community that want to help them realize their dreams. Special thanks to Ralph (Tatu Xmen) Perez, Graffiti Artist and the Paint Straight Facilitor, for introducing us to this phenomenal program.

Check out the article about our involvement in this initiative: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2011/06/30/2011-06-30_brooklyn_teens_arrested_for_graffiti_get_chance_to_show_work_at_gallery.html

Learn more about the Paint Straight Program: http://xmentaluniversity.blogspot.com/ Please consider donating to help the Paint Straight Program grow via their not-for-profit organization called, Fractured Atlas. Here is the link to the donation page: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/4714

Another great resource, The Children’s Aid Society, offers unique programs that help at-risk youth and help deter youth from repeating risky behavior like: Community Re-Entry,  Neighborhood Youth Employment Program, Functional Family Therapy, Educational Support, PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision). Check out their link: http://www.childrensaidsociety.org/juvenile-justice

Please share this post in an effort to help inspire others to support community giving towards our future. Children are our future.  And, remember… “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” ~ Albert Einstein