THE DETAILS: PARTICIPANTS Program participants are youth ages 18 - 25. We host two simultaneous co-horts serving youth with an interest in art and activism. These cohorts engage both peer referrals and court-involved participants. COHORTS We have rolled out a cohort of Assembly with participants referred by our Assembly Peer Leaders instead of by the courts. Our youth, therefore, offer the program to their peers from a place of care rather than a fear of carceral consequences. We are building a rubric for youth-driven community safety, without police, that likewise stems from a place of respect and trust. We have begun developing the necessary community partnerships to deliver workshops with and for these caring communities. LONG-TERM ENGAGEMENT Assembly offers participants paid opportunities to build upon their storytelling and performance skills. These elective opportunities offer paid training, internships, and employment as well as the opportunity to work closely with our artists and our organization for up to 24 hours each week. We offer skill-building workshops in arts education, art handling, printmaking, photo & video, and advocacy & activism. Youth may spend a year as Peer Leaders receiving this paid training, and are then placed in Fieldwork Internships at arts and culture institutions. THE CURRICULUM Through storytelling and performance the Assembly curriculum first points out the flaws in the generalized and false narrative of the “criminal,” and then seeks to replace these stereotypes with nuanced, individual accounts defined by their emotional and subjective content. Our goal is to lend agency and power to each narrator by supporting them as they tell their story on their own terms.