BUILD believes that every child deserves a bright future regardless of individual challenges or neighborhood barriers. “Painting A Community Together” (PACT) is an innovative new component of BUILD’s Arts Academy that combines restorative justice with arts enrichment. By engaging at-risk youth in the arts as a form of therapy, empowerment and neighborhood beautification, PACT creates new opportunities for youth to heal and communities to come together.
PACT originated as the brainchild of the Deputy Director of Aftercare of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, who wanted to transform the reporting center’s bleak and bureaucratic walls into something that conveyed a sense of inspiration and aspiration for the youth’s futures. Over the course of several weeks, BUILD worked with youth at the reporting center to design and create a large scale mural, reflecting ideas of community and future. In this way, the act of painting became a vehicle for peace, restoration and empowerment.
This project was such a success that BUILD created PACT to continue the partnership between BUILD, youth and communities to generate a sense of empowerment and possibility. Schools, park districts, churches and community groups have reached out to BUILD to create their own peace murals, and support from Strides for Peace partners will provide essential funding for PACT supplies and staffing, replacing blight with a lasting legacy of hope and promise.
Founded in 1969 as a pioneering gang intervention program, today BUILD is an established leader in gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development serving nearly 2,000 high-need youth across critical developmental milestones in five of Chicago’s most challenged communities on the West and South Sides.
BUILD needs your help to support the their innovative “Painting A Community Together” (PACT) restorative justice plus arts enrichment program.