About the Author: Della Hareland serves as the Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.
How do you reach out to troubled teenage girls at a juvenile detention center? Can art build self-esteem, even in difficult conditions? U.S. painter, art educator, and costume designer Valentina DuBasky, along with Andrea Piccolo and Gwen Shockey from the nonprofit organization Art in a Box, knew exactly what to do during their recent U.S. Embassy-sponsored visit to Peru. Based on prior experience in Cambodia working with victims of human trafficking and children affected by AIDS, the artists developed an art workshop that inspires creativity and promotes self-esteem. They have devoted themselves to this work as a way to use their artistic talents to reach out to and assist troubled youth. DuBasky, Piccolo, and Shockey held two workshops in July for 30 female residents, ages 14 to 17, of the Santa Margarita Juvenile Detention Center in Lima. This is a detention center for… more »