FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2009

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346

 

Art Helps Union County Youth take the Right Path

 

Elizabeth, NJ – Photographs by eight Union County students aged 15 to 18 have been selected for the March Youth Art Exhibit at the Arts Unbound gallery in Orange, NJ. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the artistic development of at-risk youth and people with disabilities throughout New Jersey.

“These young people are working hard to get their lives moving in a positive direction and the exhibit is a testament to their progress,” said Alexander Mirabella, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The exhibit is currently underway and will run until March 30. Arts Unbound is located at
544 Freeman Street in Orange. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., until March 30.

The eight students are enrolled in the State Incentive Program (SIP), a project of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth operates the program in partnership with the Union County Department of Human Services, the Youth Services Commission and the Probation Department.

Family Court judges may order the program for juveniles who have not committed first degree offenses.

“Arts Unbound gave our students an opportunity to think about themselves differently,” said Agnes Brophy, Director of SIP at Trinitas. “This recognition of, and appreciation for, their art work has boosted the self-esteem of our students.”

The program serves about 20 students per year. Students enrolled in SIP attend classes and engage in afterschool activities at Trinitas. In addition to schoolwork, the program involves individual and family therapy, and therapeutic activities such as yoga and art. The students also perform community service.

The SIP arts instructor is provided by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. For more information on at-risk youth programs in Union County, call the Youth Services Commission
at (908) 527-4892, or visit www.ucnj.org.