Sidney's ART 180 Journey
“ART 180 gives me the resources that I need to achieve my goals."
"ART 180 is great because I can talk to people who don't judge me." -Sidney Evans, 17
Since spring, Sidney has been coming to ART 180 to participate in projects that allow him to express himself, learn tangible skills, and, more importantly, be himself. For the 17-year-old who has spent time incarcerated, having the opportunity to express himself openly and honestly is important.
“ART 180 is great because I can talk to people who don't judge me,” said Sidney.
ART 180 recognizes that the voices of incarcerated youth are often unheard and ignored. Through our self-advocacy program focused on reforming the juvenile justice system, our mission is to amplify the powerful stories, dreams, and desires of incarcerated youth. As artists and advocates, we provide a platform for them to explore their feelings and communicate their stories through art. And, we make it possible for young people like Sidney to share their experiences with people beyond their circumstances, particularly people of power who can influence the system.
“They give you a different way to express yourself. Because it gets your stress, anger and frustrations out in the right way,” said Sidney.
For Sidney, ART 180 also helps his family because “my parent doesn't have to worry about me hanging in the streets and she knows where I’m at!” This summer, Sidney participated in an ART 180 project using VR technology. He and other teens took part in creating visuals they designed with the help of our friends from New York-based VR content producer Scenic, for an immersive exhibit that allows you to step into the perspective of an incarcerated young person in juvenile detention.
Beyond the virtual reality installation, the exhibit will include photographs, poetry, immersive audio installations, and a take-action station for any viewers interested in getting involved in local juvenile justice reform campaigns. The project was important because it allowed them to openly express their desires for their future.
“ART 180 gives me the resources that I need to achieve my goals. I want to have a lawn care business. Eventually, do two years of community college and then go to a four-year university,” said Sidney.