about us

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

History and Mission

"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

"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

Artistic Noise is an arts and entrepreneurship program for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The program provides an opportunity for participants to process and document their lives using the visual arts while learning valuable life and job skills. Through the creation of artwork exploring issues such as self-identity, hope, incarceration, and dreams- along with the exhibition and marketing of their artwork -- the young people involved are empowered by - 1) following a complex project through to fruition; 2) having their voices heard through a visual medium; 3) participating in a collaborative project with their peers and facilitators.

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
Director/ Co-Founder, Artistic Noise Boston 2001-2003
Director/ Co-Founder, Artistic Noise 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
Director, Artistic Noise 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
Artistic Noise Co-Founder/ Youth Participant, Artistic Noise Boston 2001-2006
Artistic Noise Assistant Director and Board Member- 2006-present

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.


Jen Kind-Rubin MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT
Art Therapy Program Director, Artistic Noise 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.

Laura Schneider
Director, Arts, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial Program (2014-present)
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise NY (2013
Laura Schneider is an Artist and Educator living in Brooklyn, New York, and is thrilled to be working with Artistic Noise. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History and a concentration in Studio Art from Carleton College (2007). After moving to New York and working as an Artist Assistant and Gallery Assistant for a handful of years, Laura returned to school to get a Master’s in Art Education from New York University (2011). She has taught with many arts programs around the city, including Community-Word Project, TRUCE Arts & Media, and Wingspan Arts. Laura is currently working towards her MFA at City College and is excited to be leading Artistic Noise's Art, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial program. Laura holds fast to the belief that art is a living thing, born of our history, enlivened by our humanity, and made powerful by our need for individual expression and social connection.


Karen Codd
Art Therapy Extern, Artistic Noise NY 2015-present

Karen Codd is an artist and art therapist living in Brooklyn, New York and is honored to be working with Artistic Noise. She received a BFA in Sculpture from The College of Saint Rose in 2003 and an MPS in Art Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in 2014. In addition to exhibiting her own art and performance work, Karen has been part of the management team of The Armory Show art fair and later the Associate Publisher/Director of Capricious Magazine & Space. Arts-related volunteerism in local schools and homeless shelters, through New York Cares, eventually led her to pursue a career in creative arts therapy. Since beginning her training she has had opportunities to practice in such diverse institutions as Brooklyn H.S. for Leadership & Community Service (a public transfer high school), Woodhull Hospital & Mental Health Center, New Horizon Continuing Day Treatment Program, and soon she will be joining the Psychiatry Department at Jamaica Hospital. Karen strongly believes that art-making fosters emotional resilience in both individuals and communities, and she strives to imbue her therapeutic work with hope and empowerment.


Raul Ayala
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise 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

Joel Bergner
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise NY 2015-present

Joel Bergner is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator who organizes arts-based social action initiatives with youth and communities around the world, including Syrian refugee camps, juvenile detention centers in the US and the shantytowns of Kenya and Brazil. He always works closely with local residents and organizations to give opportunities to society’s most voiceless citizens to explore issues that are important to them, learn valuable skills and uplift their environment through public art. His art and social projects have been published in several books and have been covered by global media outlets such as Al Jazeera, NPR and Reuters. His work can be seen at www.joelartista.com

Sophia Dawson
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise 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

Shadi Harouni
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise NY 2014-present

Shadi Harouni's practice includes making sculptures, videos, photographs, and compiling archives. Her art and writing have been featured in the New York Times and The Guardian, among other publications. She has participated in residencies and exhibited internationally. She currently teaches at Parsons The New School and New York University.

Sergio Perez
Artist in Residence, Artistic Noise NY 2011-present

Sergio Alexis Perez is a Brooklyn-based Artist and Educator who originally hails from Southern California. As a youth he was initially influenced by the unique murals that adorned the highway underpasses of the renowned Chicano Park as well as the various letter styles of Chicano graffiti near his grandparent's home in San Diego, California. Raised by his mother, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he was also exposed to the myriad tactical symbols, aircraft markings, and symbolism of unit insignia related with her field of work. These influential elements and transient lifestyle motivated and provided Perez with the opportunities to seek out and interact with other graff writers and artists throughout high school and later on in his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he received his BA in Arts Education. It was in Boston that Perez began working with youth and utilizing his experience as a means of empowerment and self-esteem for young people. He has continued to work and create in various community centers, public schools, incarceration facilities and arts organizations. Much of his work references both his exposure to military life as well as his indigenous and Hispanic roots in a free-associated narrative style in a variety of mediums. Currently, Sergio teaches art at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens and continues to paint murals with youth in New York City. Most recently he has completed murals with teens in conjunction with C.A.W. (Creative Arts Workshops for Kids), The State of New York, The Harlem Development Council and the community organization H.O.P.E. in East Harlem.


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

Rebecca Vose, Treasurer and Clerk. Staff Attorney, The Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project
Board of Directors, 2001-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

Daren Chentow. Provides mentoring services to girls in the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts and is active in the philanthropic community. She was a recipient of the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Embracing the Legacy Award.
Board of Directors, 2008-present

Noah D. Federici. MBA Candidate at Boston University School of Management
Board of Directors, 2013-present

Barry Gaither. Executive Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists.
Board of Directors, 2008-present

Tess Korobkin. Phd candidate in Art History at Yale University
Deputy Director, Artistic Noise NY 2008-2010
Board of Directors, 2010-present

Cullen Malley. Associate Brand Manager with Unilever.
Board of Directors, 2010-present

Minotte Romulus. Artistic Noise Assistant Director, 2006-present
Artistic Noise Co-Founder/ Youth Participant, Artistic Noise Boston 2001-2006
Board of Directors, 2008-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

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