Graffiti Arts Project (GAP)
Photo Book Report
In 2008, the City of East Palo Alto Police Department received a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Program (OJJDP), to implement youth prevention and intervention programs designed to provide at-risk youth alternatives to gangs and violence.
As part of this grant, the Police Department partnered with the Mural, Music and Arts Project (MMAP) to create and implement the Graffiti Arts Project (GAP). The purpose of GAP is to reduce graffiti in the City and provide at-risk youth positive alternatives to gangs and illegal activities. GAP teaches youth respect for their community and provides them the skills and incentives to use their artistic talents to transform illegal graffiti into art that compliments the community.
The GAP Program was designed, and executed in two sessions from August 2008 to May 2009. Session 1 consisted of a six-week pilot, and Session 2 expanded to a 12-week program. Thirty-four (34) youth successfully completed GAP, and program participants were awarded over $2,000 in cash prizes and art materials. The program culminated in a Graffiti Arts festival with a juried art exhibition showcasing student talent and honoring their commitment to the arts.
GAP’s curricular focus was artistic skill development, property restoration, and helping youth to utilize their artistic talents for positive expression. This project based learning model included a thematic teaching curriculum exploring the origin of Graffiti and how youth can express themselves with graffiti without disrespecting the art, disrespecting others or breaking the law. GAP provided a platform for
youth to express their artistic talent in a safe, supportive environment while they improved their art skills, conducted graffiti clean-up, and property restoration. Youth had the opportunity to interact with law enforcement in a collegial environment during program sessions. Youth earned Community Service Credit, Volunteer Hours, and Court Work Hours for their participation.
Below is the link to the GAP Photo Book
Ronald L. Davis
Chief of Police