The Blank Page Project is an artist educator-led initiative that provides arts programming to youth and adults, with a focus on those involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Our mission is to create opportunities, both within and outside of correctional institutions, which allow participants to gain creative, educational and personal skills. We believe that the arts are powerful tools for social change, personal discovery, and community building. They allow us to imagine and work towards a world that is free of oppression. Due to the distinct needs of participants, the Blank Page Project is comprised of two separate programs: Baltimore Youth Arts and Free Space.
Baltimore Youth Arts (BYA), is an arts and entrepreneurship program for youth, with a focus on those involved in the juvenile justice system. BYA’s aim is to assist youth in gaining the creative, personal, and educational skills that will assist them in becoming leaders in their communities. BYA offers weekly programming at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center, and the BYA Community Studio. We also offer special programming at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center, the Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center, and Gilmore Homes. In addition to regular classes, BYA invites local artists and entrepreneurs to share their work and processes with youth participants.
Free Space, BPP’s adult program, operates within the following institutions: the Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup, the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women and Dorsey Run Correctional Facility. Participants are given access to time, materials, and classes that foster self-expression and offer an alternative to prison culture. Weekly classes create a safe space for incarcerated individuals utilizing the visual and literary arts while encouraging individual and collaborative growth. Free Space also invites visiting artists to introduce participants to new creative skills in hopes of helping to prepare them for post-incarceration.
This exhibition highlights artwork that was created by multiple artists, ages 3-60, within the program over the past year. Painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking come together to exemplify the immense talent and vision that these individuals possess, even while the majority of them spend days in settings that stifle creativity, individuality, and self expression.
**To maintain anonymity for detained youth and select adult participants, some of the artist’s are not credited beneath their pieces.
For more information about The Blank Page Project:
Thank you to the following supporters who have made this event and all Blank Page Project Programming possible:
The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation
Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts
The Open Society Institute - Baltimore
The Family League of Baltimore
The Jim and Patty Rouse Charitable Foundation
Maryland State Arts Council
The Gutierrez Memorial Fund