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using the creative arts for transformation

 
 
 

The Advot Project works with vulnerable communities to use the creative arts for personal and social transformation.

 

We run a performing arts program for young girls in juvenile detention and
an alumni program for previously incarcerated graduates.

To date, we've worked with 220 kids inside 5 different juvenile detention camps, culminating in 14 separate final presentations. We're proud to report that less than 10% of participants have returned to juvenile detention facilities  after having completed our program.

In a world of staggering recidivism, this fact alone keeps us going.

Scroll down to learn more about our work.

 
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Performing Arts Program

 

The Performing Arts Program uses theater exercises, creative writing, music, and dance
to explore healthy relationships, establish communication skills, and nurture personal growth.

Our Performing Arts Program can be facilitated at school, probation, and community sites, as well as in collaboration with nonprofit organizations. To date, we've facilitated the program at Fairfax High School, San Pedro High School, and LA County Probation at Camps Scudder, Scott, Gonzales, and Miller.

Currently the Performing Arts Program is using our "Relationships 101" curriculum to serve young girls in juvenile detention at LA County's Camp Kenyon Scudder in a 10-week course that culminates with a final presentation, written and performed by the participants.

With each group of participants, we continue to see theater become a rehearsal for life, a stage for these youths to experiment, explore, and find ways to live as the best versions of themselves.

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Alumni Program

 

The Alumni Program provides graduates of the Performing Arts Program
with guidance, community, and a space to continue nurturing their personal, creative expression.

One to two times a month we meet in varying settings - always over a meal, sometimes at cultural outings, and others anywhere the group can write, perform, play, and converse. Together we identify short-term needs and set long-term goals for success. 

We try to provide participants with the academic and professional resources they need to move forward, while exposing them to cultural enrichment experiences.

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A Captive Audience

 

A Documentary Film

The Advot Project is in production on a documentary that will follow the journey of young girls in juvenile detention, working to rebuild their lives.

Through the lens of three girls in Relationship 101, Advot's 10-week theater program, we step into the world of Camp Scudder, a girls' juvenile detention facility in LA County. What we find inside these walls is both surprising and promising. We find laughter, play, and safety. A place for these girls to explore and heal. A place of rehabilitation.

Within these walls, the future becomes possible. For two hours each week, the group makes the camp's gym their stage. In folding chairs all placed round the court's free-throw circle, they put on red clown noses and take off their masks, and we watch these girls work together to build a scaffolding that will support their futures.

But as we follow the girls back into their outside lives, we witness their struggles to maintain their hard work, and we come to question not the effectiveness of probation but the response of society.

 
There is a tremendous need for what [Advot] is doing. You prove to the young adults in your program that words do have meaning and can make an enormous difference in how we view ourselves and how others view us. You are changing the world one person at a time, definitely a ripple effect.
— Barbara Yaroslavskly, Vice President of the LA Commission on Community & Family Services
In [this program] I have learned that first and foremost love shouldn’t hurt. I learned to love and respect myself because I can’t love no one if I don’t love myself.
— Ashley, Graduate of the Program at Camp Kenyon Scudder Probation Camp
The program never fails to empower our students as they mature into young adults and eventually tomorrow’s leaders, with newfound respect and understanding of the evils of domestic violence.
— Principal Jeanette Stevens, San Pedro High School
[This program] was a catalyst for positive change here at Camp Gonzales. The residents learned for the first time that safe and proper conduct is necessary in order to achieve healthy romantic relationships. We encourage potential funders to consider the cost-effective merits of the Advot Project, knowing that its workshops will help our teens learn an important set of ethics and rules to live by.
— Larry Vangor, Director of L.A. County Probation Department
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