Assembly offers those caught up in the justice system an inroad to art and connections to working artists and serves as an alternative to incarceration while empowering young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a career in the arts. Once participants complete the program prosecutors may close and seal their cases, allowing youth to avoid an adult record.  Participants may stay involved at Recess through paid, long-term training and arts engagement.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     THE DATA

 According to 2015 data from the State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Black and Latino youth make up 33% of the state population but 72% of all arrests and 77% of felony arrests. This population also represents 82% of youth that receive adult sentencing. At Recess we believe artists are uniquely situated to address systemic oppression due to the creative toolkit they possess and their ability to offer nuanced perspectives when examining inequity.  







Major funding for Assembly is provided by The Horace Goldsmith Foundation, The Salomon Foundation, Art for Justice Fund, Pinkerton Foundation. Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Donald & Shelly Rubin Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The ELMA Philanthropies. 

Banner image courtesy by Kaz Sakuma



Learn to teach the Assembly curriculum. Videos from our Lead Assembly Educator, Shaun Leonardo

Minimal Gesture

Collective Storytelling

Stop! Think!

Heroes Journey

Past Assembly Artist Activations