about us

Philosophy of Teaching | Program Descriptions | Staff and Board Member Bios

History and Mission

Artistic Noise exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system. Through visual arts and entrepreneurship programs in Massachusetts and New York, our participants give voice to their experiences, build community through collaborative projects, and learn valuable life and job skills. Artistic Noise creates safe spaces where court-involved youth can be seen, heard and supported on their path to adulthood. We believe the practice of making art offers opportunities for young people and communities to transform.

"Artistic Noise gave me a voice I never had. When I turned 18 DYS (Department of Youth Services) kicked me out with no knowledge of the real world and Artistic Noise took me in. I think to myself where would I be without Artistic Noise, maybe dead or in jail. If I never got the chance to join, learn and grow I would be going back to a place I never wanted to be. But now when I go back as a mentor to teach, it feels good for the girls to know I was there and I turned my life around and they can do the same with their lives."
-Minotte Romulus, co-founder, former participant and current Board Member and Assistant Director of Artistic Noise Boston

“I got involved with Artistic Noise through a reentry program. I'm not going to lie, at first I was intrigued by the money, but later as I got more involved in the program I fell in love with the concept of making art. The program has changed my life in many ways. Artistic Noise introduced me to things in life I had no idea about. It taught me how to express myself in a non-violent way. Artistic Noise gave me an outlet in which I was able to express myself freely. Artistic Noise is my home away from home, we are a family unit. This ‘family unit’ has watched me grow from a wild teenager into a respectable young woman. My ‘family’ has given me tools that have made me stronger and wiser. In a nutshell Artistic Noise showed me an inner strength I was not aware of, then it gave me a space in which I could test it out and build it.” -Ebony, Office & Exhibit Manager and former Participant and Curator

"Artistic Noise is amazing. Our residents who cannot or will not even sit down and attend a group or school will voluntarily participate in Artistic Noise and sit down and express themselves through art."
-Edward Figueroa, Social Worker at The Bronx Residential Center

By working with youth both inside the detention facility and back in the community Artistic Noise provides continuity for youth who are often experiencing trauma and upheaval in their lives. The program's flexible structure gives job training to youth who often lack the skills and experience needed to succeed in standard employment training or job situations. Artistic Noise (formerly Hear Us Make Artistic Noise or H.U.M.A.N.) was founded in Boston in 2001 and developed a New York City chapter in 2008. The program recently established itself as an independent non-profit but previously operated under the umbrella of the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (JRAP) at Boston College Law School.

Artistic Noise seeks to affect individual and systemic change within the juvenile justice system by:

Philosophy of Teaching

"Artistic Noise is a great program that allows teens to express themselves in new and creative ways. Painting, drawing, and carving are different forms of art that not a lot of teens are usually exposed to so they sometimes resort to other forms of expression that aren't always positive."
- Fradeline, Teen Curator

We start with the clear understanding that the youth in our program are extremely valuable and have a unique and important perspective on themselves and their communities. Through object-based discussion and critical viewing of contemporary art, students begin to reflect on their own experiences through a different lens. Using a variety of artistic mediums, they explore themes such as friendship, loss, sexual violence, community, freedom, identity and their dreams for the future.

We work to empower the participants with a sense of the creative potential of the arts. Technical skills are taught and emphasized, but the main impetus is to allow for the safe, effective and meaningful communication of life experiences through visual language, and the building of connections to the larger community. Given that many of our participants suffer from abuse and low self-esteem, projects are designed to minimize the possibility of intimidation and to maximize the possibility for creative output and skillbuilding.

We do not avoid dealing with sensitive issues (such as racism, abuse, love, violence, identity, anger, or depression), understanding the participants' need to express difficult emotions in a safe, constructive context. We believe structured artmaking fosters critical thinking and problem solving -- skills that are beneficial to the teens' healthy psychological development. We believe in the strength of both individual projects, which value the unique voice of each participant, and group projects and critiques which develop skills of cooperation, negotiation, and leadership.

Program Descriptions

Artistic Noise is comprised of four core components: Studio Art Workshops in Residential Settings; Art Therapy Workshops; Art, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial Programs in Community Settings; and Youth Leadership Development.

Metro Youth Services Center/ Spectrum Detainment Center – Dorchester, MA (2001-present)
Highland Residential Center - Highland, NY (2015-present)
Brentwood Residential Center- Brentwood, NY (2012-present) partnership with Adelphi University
Children's Village- Dobbs Ferry, NY (2014)
Leake and Watts Residential Facility – Yonkers, NY (Summer of 2013)
Bronx Residential Center - Bronx, NY (2008-2013)
Brooklyn Residential Center - Brooklyn, NY (2005-2010)
Rikers Island, Rose M. Singer Center – Queens, NY (2008-2009) partnership with The Children’s Aid Society’s LINC Program

Studio Art Workshops, which are provided in juvenile detention facilities and other residential settings, provide youth with a safe and structured environment to creatively express and process complex feelings and share their stories. These weekly workshops bring innovative art activities into lock-up. Projects are designed to involve a variety of traditional and digital media and to span several weeks or months. Themes are chosen to maximize the youth’s interest and involvement over time. These programs regularly involve student volunteers from Adelphi University, Boston College Law School, Columbia University, Massachusetts College of Art, Montserrat College of Art, New York University, SUNY Purchase and Wheelock College, as a way to educate the greater public about issues of juvenile rights, social activism and art education.

NYC Department of Probation KJOP Program – Brooklyn, NY (2012-present)
NYC Department of Probation Brooklyn Family Court- Brooklyn, NY (2014-present)
NYC Department of Probation Harlem NeON- Harlem, NY (2014-present)
NYC Department of Probation Harlem ECHOES Program – Harlem, NY (2013-present)
NYC Department of Probation CARES Program- Brooklyn, Bronx, Harlem, Queens and Staten Island, NY (Summers of 2012 and 2014)
NYC Department of Probation Queens ECHOES Program- Queens, NY (2014)
NYC Department of Probation Bronx Family Court- Bronx, NY (2012-2013)

In partnership with The New York City Department of Probation and The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, Artistic Noise provides Art Therapy for youth who are probation involved. Through creating a safe space for youth to explore issues both past and present, our art therapist assists clients to communicate their internal experiences, watching their thoughts and feelings come to life as they create. Both process and imagery lead to new insights and understanding. Art therapy groups and individual sessions are provided along with assessment, family therapy, and outreach services to improve communication and build a high functioning and supportive team for the youth comprised of professionals, family, and natural supports. All therapy services are provided by a licensed and board certified Art Therapist and groups are co-facilitated by both an Art Therapist and an Artistic Noise Teaching Artist, allowing for high levels of creativity and understanding. This program combines Artistic Noise's Restorative Justice model with a therapeutic component, to offer additional support and assist youth in working towards a deeper level of self-awareness. Selected participants from these workshops are able to apply for employment through our Community Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Curatorial Program.

Artisic Noise, Studio Space at 2185 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd- Harlem, NY (2015-present)
Boston, Arts & Entrepreneurship Program, Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, Wheelock College – Boston, MA (2013-present)
RAW Artspace- Harlem, NY (2014)
Edwin Gould Academy – Harlem, NY (2012-2014)
Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center – Bronx, NY (2008-2014)
Dunlevy Milbank Center Restart GED Program – Harlem, NY (2008-2009)
City Challenge Center - Brooklyn, NY (2008-2009)

As youth grow in their art and demonstrate a desire to develop employment skills and competencies, our Art, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial Program offers a unique opportunity for teens to work collaboratively with their peers; curate art shows; and market and sell original artwork and products they have designed. The program begins in September and culminates in June with our yearly exhibit of student work. Along the way, participants develop their creative skills as individual artists and collaborators and their business skills as paid artists, entrepreneurs and curators, gaining knowledge of job professionalism, learning about art world careers, and creating their own art exhibit. Through this highly structured program participants see an extensive planning process through to fruition, encouraging youth to understand the importance of working towards long-term goals.

Before joining the program, youth must first complete a training phase, which tests their readiness to work with their peers and staff in a structured, expectation-driven environment. In addition to creating their own works of art, our young curators also study contemporary art through fieldtrips to both city’s cultural atttractions. As curators, they must select pieces for Artistic Noise’s annual gallery shows, mount the shows and be prepared to explain each piece to the public. As entrepreneurs, the teens are responsible for identifying and creating artwork for use in marketable products, including holiday cards, hand silkscreened t-shirts, and prints. The teens, under our staff’s supervision, price the items, develop marketing plans and then sell the items at venues across the city’s. The proceeds from the sale of their artwork and products benefit the artists and program.

When Artistic Noise was founded we aimed to build a program that the participants could eventually take over. We still believe in this mission and officially piloted our Youth Leadership Development Program in 2012. We have begun to train the participants who have graduated from our various programs to be our future leaders. These young leaders are mentors to our youth, Assistant Teachers and Advocates for youth in the juvenile justice system.

Staff and Board Member Bios


Lauren Adelman
Executive Director, Boston, 2001-2003

Executive Director, NY, 2008-present
Lauren Adelman is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts and a MA in Arts Education from NYU. She co-founded Artistic Noise in Boston in 2001 and New York in 2008. Lauren has also worked as an educator at the Museum of Modern Art since 2006. She currently works in the Community and Access Department at MoMA running partnerships with adults and youth involved in the criminal justice system. Lauren is a licensed Department of Education Teacher and has taught art in many varied settings such as public schools, juvenile detention centers, and non-profit arts organizations both locally and abroad. Lauren has shown her own artwork nationally and has been awarded residencies at The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY; Anchor Graphics, Chicago, IL and was most recently a visiting artist at The Artist's Proof Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lauren's own artistic practice explores environmental and social issues through printmaking, drawing, animation and other media. www.laurenadelman.com

Vanessa Ruiz
Executive Director, Boston, 2015-Present

Vanessa, better known as Nessie Ruiz, is an artist and educator originally from Miami, FL. She received a BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Chicago. Vanessa's photographic work revolves around social issues affecting marginalized groups of children, both locally and abroad. Since 1999, she has been passionately involved with children-focused non-profits in the US, Sri Lanka, and South Africa where she has created and implemented art, empowerment and leadership programs for kids and teens. She has been a college photography instructor since 2010 and a die hard Dolly Parton fan since she was eleven. She believes wholeheartedly that art has the power to transform lives and has dedicated her own life to bringing that art to underprivileged youth. www.vanessaruiz.com


Minotte Romulus
Board Member, 2006-present
Assistant Director, Boston, 2006-present
Artistic Noise Youth Participant, Boston, 2001-2006

Minotte Romulus is an emerging artist, mentor and educator who has collaborated with John Ewing on several large-scale public art projects. She has taught for St. Stephen's Be Safe Program and led projects for Artistic Noise in both New York and Boston. Minotte has spoken at Boston's Cyclorama, The Boston State House, The Cloud Foundation, Columbia University, The Massachusetts College of Art and most recently at The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Annual Conference in Washington DC. Minotte was first involved with Artistic Noise as juvenile delinquent and is now the Assistant Director of Artistic Noise Boston. As a former Artistic Noise participant she offers the young people she works with hope that they can succeed, follow their dreams and that anything is possible.

Amelia O'Donnell
Director of Development, 2015-Present

Amelia joins us as Artistic Noise’s first Development Director. . Amelia has experience building a nonprofit development program from the ground up. Previously she launched the corporate sponsorship program at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston where she worked directly with major donors as well as the emerging artists they supported. Amelia also manages fundraising as VP of the Board of Directors at Wright Locke Farm. She presided over grant making as Chair of the Winchester Cultural Council, and has also served as an educator for several cultural organizations in the greater Boston area, most recently at the Institute of Contemporary Art. She graduated with a BA from Boston University, and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate though the Tufts University museum studies program.

Jen Kind-Rubin MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT
Art Therapy Program Director, NY, 2014-present

Jen Kind-Rubin is a nationally registered, board certified (ATR-BT) and a New York State Licensed (LCAT) Creative Arts Therapist living and working in New York City. She earned her Bachelors degree at New York University (2003). While there, she studied at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, combining her interests in psychology and studio art to create her own concentration. A passion and enthusiasm for this combined interest led her to obtain her Masters of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute (2011). Jen has long been fascinated with the relationship between art exhibition and self-esteem, exploring the question in her master’s thesis and through the execution of client art shows at several past work sites. Jen has experience working with clients across all demographics, but has always had a particular interest in working with urban, at-risk youth. This focus has guided her professional career through numerous settings in New York, including homeless shelters (Covenant House and The Ali Forney Center), The Door, New York Foundling (foster care), and Brooklyn Leadership (an alternative transfer high school). It is Jen’s belief that we all have a natural resiliency, but sometimes need additional supports to discover where this inner strength lies. Art-making provides this opportunity, externalizing the internal experience, and creating space for self-discovery and empowerment.


Raul Ayala
Artist in Residence, NY, 2014-present

Raul Ayala is an artist focused on drawing, muralism, and socially engaged art. His work has been part of several international group exhibitions and festivals. Ayala’s work reflects on the enviroment and is always looking for ways to redefine and construct identities within the Ecuadorean diaspora. He founded “Zona Libre,” an art workshop that was implemented in several detention centers in Quito, Ecuador, from 2004 to 2007. He used art teaching as a method to resist alienation for individuals deprived from their freedom. In 2012 he implemented “En/Contraste” a one year photography project and publication in two locations of a rural and urban area in Quito, Ecuador. Ayala was the recipient of the 2007 Empowerment Across Continents Fellowship of the European Commission in Budapest; the 2013 Create Change Professional Development Program of the Laundromat Project in New York City; and the 2014 Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artist of the New York Foundation of the Arts. Currently, he lives in Brooklyn and works as a teaching artist and muralist working for organizations like Groundswell murals and Justice Committee and helping building art and banners for marches and manifestations for social justice in New York City. www.raulayalablog.blogspot.com

Sophia Dawson
Artist in Residence, NY, 2014-present

Sophia Dawson is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She attended the School of Visual Arts and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 2010. She recently graduated New York University with her Masters in Visual Arts Administration. Sophia's personal practice aims to educate people on recent history and collective and individual struggles through her art. She has worked as both a teaching artist and muralist on a number of projects throughout New York City. www.ilovewetpaint.com

Jennifer Edwards Berr
Artist in Residence, Boston, 2015-present

After receiving her BFA from RISD, Jenny served as the studio apprentice to Gyorgy Kepes, professor in Emeritus, and Director for Advance Visual Studies at MIT. Thereafter, Jenny earned her MFA from Yale School of Art. Having a wide range of teaching experience, Jenny has taught in the RISD photography department since 1998. She also holds licensure from Massachusetts Department of Education to teach K-12 and has taught drawing, two-dimensional /three-dimension design, photography, self defense, safety and decision-making and to children and teens. Her work has been published and exhibited nationally. She is currently working on a video portrait of trauma and survival.

Arturo Garcia
Artist in Residence, NY, 2016-present

Arturo Garcia is a Classical Realism Painter and Arts Educator based in Brooklyn. Arturo was born in Mexico, and was raised between Mexico and Spain. He attended The National School of Plastic Arts in Mexico City. Upon graduating with honors, he began his career exhibiting in Mexico. Arturo became affiliated with “The Water Street Atelier” after moving to NYC. Arturo’s work has been featured in numerous national and international artists magazines. Arturo has taught art to many different audiences through non-profit organizations in NYC. www.arturogarciapainter.com

Jazmine Hayes
Artist in Residence, NY, 2015-present

Jazmine Hayes is a visual artist born, raised, and based in Brooklyn. She holds a BFA in painting from CUNY Queens College where she studied closely under Glenn Goldberg and Debra Priestly. Hayes uses her artwork to explore social topics often related to families of color and women of color as well. She has worked with community-based organizations across New York City as a muralist and teaching artist. She believes that creating art with youth gives them an outlet of expression as it did for her at a young age. www.jazminehayesart.com


Kelsey Chaplain
Undergraduate Art Intern, Boston, 2016-present

Kelsey Chaplain is a junior at Lesley University living in Somerville, Massachusetts and working towards her undergraduate degree in Illustration and Fine Arts. Social justice and intersectional activism is a serious commitment in her life: she is a student leader on campus and facilitates weekly dialogues on activism and modern issues as president of Lesley's LGBTQ+ student organization. Kelsey utilizes art as a powerful medium of communication and emotional expression, and she works to spread and encourage messages of social change, emotional empowerment, and rejuvenation to people in this way. She is excited every day she's able to come into Artistic Noise, help make expressive and cathartic work, and learn while working with everyone here.

Jordan Crawford
Graduate Art Therapy Intern, Boston, 2016-present

Jordan Crawford is an artist and counselor living in Brighton, MA. Jordan graduated with a BA in Psychology from Lesley University in 2014 and is now studying to achieve her MA in Expressive Arts Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is currently a senior mental health counselor at Bournewood Hospital where she implements artistic expression into group therapy. When she is not working or in school, Jordan spends her freetime outdoors - hiking, swimming and snowboarding.

Francesca DeBiaso
Graduate Art Therapy Intern, NY, 2015-present

Francesca DeBiaso is an art therapy student currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA in Art History from Gettysburg College where she focused her studies on feminist art of the 1970s. While in college, she was the Program Coordinator for the Women's Center and led co-ed healthy relationship discussions and facilitated art and recreational groups. Francesca has previously worked at the Guggenheim Museum and the Child Mind Institute, a research-oriented behavioral therapy practice located in Midtown Manhattan. She is currently at School of Visual Arts pursuing an MPS in Art Therapy. Francesca strongly believes that art can help us access and integrate the various parts of ourselves to feel more cohesive and expressed. She is honored to be working at Artistic Noise with such a dedicated and creative staff.

Jennifer Miller
Graduate Program Intern, Boston, 2016-present
Graduate Art Therapy Intern, Boston, 2015-2016

Jennifer Miller is an artist from Wisconsin now living and studying in the Boston area. Currently an Art Therapy graduate student at Lesley University, Jennifer received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in 2009. Jennifer is a strong advocate for the therapeutic powers of art after relying on art for her own stress relief for many years. She recently implemented an art and craft program in a physical and occupational therapy setting. In addition to a love for all things art, Jennifer enjoys traveling, taking long walks with her dog, and spending time with her family.


Kate Jellinghaus, President. Artist/ Educator, Westwood High School.
Director, Artistic Noise Boston 2006-2010
Board of Directors, 2010-present

Tess Korobkin, Vice President. Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Deputy Director, Artistic Noise NY 2008-2010
Board of Directors, 2010-present

Irene Sherman, Treasurer and Clerk.
Board of Directors, 2016--present

Ann Tobey, Secretary. Associate Professor and Director of Juvenile Justice and Youth Programs at Wheelock College
Board of Directors, 2008-present

Yasmine Awais. MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT- Assistant Clinical Professor, Creative Art Therapies Department, Drexel University
Director of Art Therapy, Artistic Noise 2012-2013
Board of Directors, 2013-present

Joël Diaz. Project Manager of Professional Learning, Scholastic Education
Board of Directors, 2016-present

Kimberly Gordon. Legal Specialist with the Boston District United States Attorneys Office
Board of Directors, 20016-present

Amanda Holm. Manager of Nonprofit Effectiveness at The Boston Foundation.
Board of Directors, 2016-present

Francine T. Sherman. Director of the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project at Boston College Law School and co-founder of Artistic Noise.
Board of Directors, 2001-present
Board President 2001-2015

Maurice T. Vann. Adjunct Lecturer at the Silberman School of Social Work, Researcher, Writer, and Doctoral Candidate.
Board of Directors, 2016-present

Alex Venino. Associate at Century Equity Partners
Board of Directors, 2016-present