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University of Oregon

Kate Faris: “Youth Workers & Creative Arts”

Spring 2012 Slape Award Winner, Kate Faris
“Youth Workers and the Creative Arts on the Outskirts of Bogatá”

In May, 2012, I received a George and Conni Slape Award from the International Studies Department, enabling my research experience in Colombia.

I explored the role of youth workers who utilize the arts in Soacha, Colombia.

I studied the impact of work as an intervention with the children.

 I studied the impact of  work as an intervention with the children.

I explored the role of youth workers who utilize the arts in Soacha, Colombia.

I conducted a case study of nine youth workers and two administrators of the local NGO, La Fundación Proyecto de Vida, I saw how a comprehensive approach strengthens youth’s social and personal capacities. This Colombian model of intervention includes workshops that cover areas such as music, visual arts, movement, physical health, and the environment.

In addition to the workshops the organization provides psychological resources through family counseling, art and psychodynamic therapy, along with onsite cafeteria service. Ultimately, I illustrate how this comprehensive, artsbased approach to support the youth can break the cycle of violence that is otherwise perpetuated by the lack of governmental social programs.