artistic noise: art from the juvenile detention system and beyond Storytelling Project
Farah's Story
Collage on Paper and Painting on wood

The Storytelling Project is based on the belief that tolerance, empathy and strength can be fostered through the powerful combination of story and art. This project celebrates the notion that when stories are shared openly, genuinely listened to, and reflected on through art, they can make a lasting impact on all who experience them.

Beginning in February of this year, autobiographical stories of youth and staff involved in Artistic Noise workshops were digitally recorded. Inspired by interviews and recordings from Story Corps and Radio Diaries, our youth reviewed stories and developed concepts for our work. Moved by this research, they decided to conduct interviews revolving around the driving question: How has your life been different than what you expected? Stories were collected by the youth from the Bronx and Brentwood Residential Centers and our Community LINC programs. Youth interviewed each other, their teachers and staff at their sites, allowing for meaningful connections to emerge.

Advancing the process of sharing and appreciating these histories even further, we began to plan artwork based off these recordings. Our youth swapped stories, choosing interviews of another that touched them and committed themselves to making those memories visual. Sharing the story of someone else is an essential component to the project's progress, since it has led us to explore the interpretative realm, and what is means both artistically and psychologically to be in anothers shoes for a period of time.

The Storytelling Project has led to everyone learning a little, or in some cases, a lot more about each other, putting each side in perspective. The same way the stories inspired our youth, we hope these recordings and responding artworks will have the power to inspire our audience to share, listen and respond to the possibilities this exchange has to offer our world.

Teaching Artists: Lauren Adelman, Danielle McDonald, Julia Pagnamenta

"How has your life been different than what you imagined? Well, I actually have a job and my own place. I have a career, and I am on my way to becoming a social worker. Why do you want to be a social worker? Because I want to help teens out, because nobody helped me, nobody really cared what I was going through"