The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology

Final Evaluation for a Youth Programs Diversity Mural Workshop with High School Youth

Angela Forcier

In 2003 I evaluated a program for Colorado middle- and high-school-aged youth, entitled “Youth Envisioning Social Change Through the Arts.” Frierean ideas were central to the program’s interaction with youth and the community. The program provided after-school activities such as graphic arts classes, service-learning and leadership workshops, hip-hop dancing, visual arts classes, and music, as well as workshops that allowed the youth to create professional artwork for their community. The program has been established in the community for several years and already has many evaluation techniques in place. The area I evaluated, and one in which they particularly asked for my help, was the Diversity Mural Workshop. This mural was to be painted by high-school students on a 60 by 7-foot wall in front of a local high school. The workshop involved community building and discussions about diversity as well as the actual art creation. The youth were given most of the control and leadership for how the group functioned and how the mural was created and produced. The four goals for the workshop were: 1) develop youth leadership; 2) foster youth understanding of art as a tool for positive social change; 3) promote civic engagement and service learning among youth; and 4) empower youth and promote youth voice. In this paper I evaluate how well these goals were met.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 24, Spring, 2004 pp 50 - 63

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