Last Week of Summer Employment!

Wow, what a summer! We are 20 deep in a small space on a day that feels like 104 degrees and we couldn't be happier. To think that it is the final week of programming and still have so much going on…

On Tuesday Megan Lewis, a muralist from Baltimore, came and gave a talk about her practice.  She even stayed to give feedback on some of their art that is currently being exhibited at their gallery show “What’s Up Now?” at Gallery CA (up until Aug 26th).  The Baltimore Sun was also here taking photos and interviewing the kids. 

Bryan Robinson, of Black Genius Art Show, and Malcolm Peacock, a local visual and performing artist,  came through on Wednesday and shared their work with us. We are ending this week and the summer with a trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art…Do you see what I mean?!

A WAY OUT: Collaborative Show with BYA and Free Space @ Platform Gallery

Join us for A WAY OUT, a show featuring work made by BYA and Free Space Participants opening at Platform Gallery on Saturday, April 30.

Flyer Designed by BYA participant using title suggestions from youth an adults across all Blank Page Project teaching sites.

Flyer Designed by BYA participant using title suggestions from youth an adults across all Blank Page Project teaching sites.

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
The Contemporary
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

Meet the BYA facilitators!

Meet BYA's current facilitators!  They are talented and patient and caring and have been creating spaces of experimentation and collaboration in the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center and the Thomas Waxter Children's Center.  Check 'em out!

Read More

Mural Project @ Waxter with artist Maura Dwyer

For the past month Maura Dwyer, an interdisciplinary artist from Baltimore, has been working with the young women at the Thomas JS Waxter Children's Center in Laurel, MD on a 6'x16' mural located in the facility's hair care room.  

Participants have been working hard on designing the mural and have just begun sketching it out.  Next week they will start painting so make sure you check back to see the progress!

BYA Community Studio Opening - Volunteers Needed!

In late March, we will be opening the BYA Community Studio!  We are beyond excited because we will be able to reconnect with participants from the facilities we work in.  We are currently reaching out to volunteers to help get the space set up and running.  


Artist-Mentors Monday-Thursdays, 3:30-7pm

  • Assist youth at the BYA Community Studio with individual projects
  • Provide individualized instruction and assistance to youth participants
  • Develop projects for youth participants
  • 1-2 days/week, 2-4 hours/day

Administrative Volunteer Opportunities

  • Website and communications assistance (interview youth, create blogs with youth participants, update online gallery)
  • Tutoring (spend an afternoon assisting youth with homework or assistance with other educational needs)
  • Documentation of youth work
  • Help with special events and projects (exhibitions, fundraising, publications)

Class Assistants Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

  • 1-2 hours/week
  • Assist BYA instructors in class facilitation
  • Documenting student work 

If you are interested in volunteering with BYA, please contact Gianna Rodriguez at or fill out the Volunteer Form on the Volunteer Opportunities Page

BYA Seeks Visual Arts Instructor - Rockville

Baltimore Youth Arts is hiring for a VISUAL ARTS instructor to facilitate an 8 week program at the Alfred D Noyes Children's Center in Rockville, MD. Classes will take place on Fridays from 5pm-7pm starting on March 5.

The Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center is a co-ed facility that houses detained young men and woman.

Responsibilities include:
+ Develop 2 four-week class plans for two separate groups of youth. *Due to materials restrictions, classes should focus on 2-dimensional fine art projects
+ Engage youth of varied ages (between 12-18) and skill levels
+ Track participant attendance and submit to Program Director
+ Assist in the documentation and exhibition of student work

Skills and Qualifications:
+ Minimum of 6 months teaching experience with high-school age youth, preferably in a community setting
+ Active personal art practice

+ Willingness to participate in facilitator best-practice trainings that will take place at the BYA Community Studio in Baltimore
+ Access to a vehicle for transportation and up to date license
+ Patience, flexibility, humor and compassion!

Compensation: $25/hour

**All BYA staff, instructors and volunteers must be willing to have a criminal background check performed before engaging with youth.

To apply, please send a resume and work samples to Program Director, Gianna Rodriguez, at

Gathering, Issue #1

Gathering, Issue 1 is a compilation of work created between March-November 2015 by youth participants, ages 3-19, at BYA's teaching sites. The art made last year is so good and you can see all of it in here!

This publication is one platform that BYA offers youth artists to show their work to the greater community.  Publications such as this are also methods of building participant resumes and portfolios. 

All proceeds made from the sale of Gathering will fund future programming and publications, and ensure that all youth participants receive a copy of their work and the work of their peers. 

This publication was made possible by the generous support of The Contemporary, through the Grit Fund, and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

44 pages, 8"x10", full-color

Purchase a copy in the BYA store:

Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center Mural

For the past three weeks 5 young women at the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center have been designing a mural to cover an entire side of the building's hallway.  On Thursday they, along with other youth,  volunteers from Constellation Energy, and folks from the Department of Parks and Recreation made their design come to life.  These young women not only designed a gorgeous mural, but showed their leadership skills on painting day by directing the rest of the painting crew.  

All of the work below was done in less than 7 hours! We have one more painting day to complete the last section so make sure you check back to see the final piece.


Works in Progress!

Check out some works in progress below.  Students have been working really hard on their individual pieces! We will post their brilliance very soon! #youthartists #investinyouth