Arts & Culture

Family Folk

Through a master class arts residency intensive Family Folk uses in-depth art-making experiences as a transformative tool by engaging teenagers and their incarcerated parents in exploring the history of their family. To better understand and come to terms with their own experience and be able to foster a vision of their own identity, the art-making process weaves autobiographical family narratives of teen-children of inmates, their caregivers and incarcerated parents into audiovisual multimedia sculptures, exploring family history through storytelling, poetry, music composition and visual arts sculpture. The audiovisual sculptures will be exhibited in public places to advocate around the issue of multigenerational incarceration and a documentary short and/or art-catalogue will document the art residency process for additional opportunities of public awareness and -engagement.

Who are you?

The Service Network for Children of Inmates (COI) is a 501(c)(3) providing vital support services for over 1,000 Miami area children of incarcerated parents and their families, including facilitated bonding visits in prisons to reconnect families.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Children of inmates cannot experience Arts & Culture resources with their loved ones as other families do. More than 15,000 Miami-Dade County children have parents in jail, state or federal prisons and research shows they are much more likely than other children to become delinquent and engage in antisocial behaviors (Health & Safety). Family Folk offers opportunities for creative community engagement,-dialogue and advocacy around the issue of multi-generational incarceration (Civic Engagement)

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Providing marginalized residents with art-making and cultural opportunities, the project also touches on Health & Safety and Civic Engagement, first using the arts to foster positive life-skills and then offering the resulting art work as an impetus for community dialogue around a widespread but much overlooked public issue. Yes, early participation in the arts can help establish a lifelong interest in cultural pursuits and help to make Miami’s residents safer and more connected to each other.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Based in best-practice research and in partnership with ArtSpring, providing expressive arts programs in/ around the correctional system, COI has steadily worked to include arts & cultural practices, from creative activities during family bonding visits to dedicated arts-based workshops and -family support groups. Seeing very positive results in child behavioral dispositions and motivated participation by families, COI is now seeking to take it’s art-initiatives to a more in-depth level.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Service Network for Children of Inmates

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