State awards grant to help bring art education programs to at-risk youth

RIVERSIDE – Today, May 7, the California Arts Council announced the award of a $38,124 grant to the Riverside

Art Museum to help bring art programs to at-risk youth. The program and grant are supported by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

The Riverside Art Museum was one of only seven organizations across the state to receive the funds through the

Arts Council’s pilot competitive grant program known as Juveniles Utilizing Massive Potential Starting with Arts

(JUMP StArts).

“This is a wonderful program and opportunity for Riverside County youth and falls right in line with the many juvenile

intervention and prevention programs that the DA’s Office is involved in,” said Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.

The grant will provide funding for the Riverside Art Museum to bring arts fundamental classes and mural projects to

those housed at Riverside Juvenile Hall and at the museum itself for juveniles on probation.

“This project has been a team effort, and we appreciate the continued support of the DA’s Office and other public

agencies involved in this effort,” said Drew Oberjuerge, executive director of the museum.

Oberjuerge said the program provides a series of skill-building classes for involved juveniles and includes a mural

done at Riverside Juvenile Hall.

Juvenile halls in Riverside County are overseen by the Probation Department, which has also partnered in the grant.

Probation officials say that participation in pro-social activities like this and the exposure to positive role models has

proven to help steer youth away from becoming involved in criminal activity.

“The Probation Department’s partnership with the Riverside Art Museum has exposed youth in custody and out of

custody to art as a new medium – something many of them have never been exposed to,” said Chief Probation

Officer Mark Hake. “Many of the youth want and need to express themselves and this has given them a positive

avenue for that expression.”

“The Arts Council believes investment in California’s at-risk youth will greatly benefit our state’s most vulnerable

young people and our communities,” said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council. “Riverside Art

Museum’s ‘Creative Horizons’ project, supported by our new JUMP StArts program, is an exemplary model initiative.

Their work demonstrates proven methods for beneficial arts engagement with local at-risk youth.”

This activity is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, with special one-time funds from the

California State Assembly. Visit to learn more.

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