4th Wall: Justice, Art & Youth

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation (FMJF), the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Youth Art Connection (YAC) are excited to launch the second edition of their Justice, Art & Youth initiative. The project invites young people aged 15-30 to create a high profile exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. It will address justice issues, including the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools, the overrepresentation of Indigenous and African Canadian youth in the criminal justice system, intimate partner violence, and bullying of LGBTQ youth. On Saturday, May 7, 2016 the second edition of the Justice, Art & Youth exhibition opens to the public in partnership with the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Youth Art Connection. It will be on view through June 19, 2016. 


Justice, Art & Youth in Action

The exhibition will serve as a starting point for a public forum. There, underserved youth will work with a variety of stakeholders to hammer out a province-wide action plan offering concrete solutions to issues raised by the artwork. Starting in 2017, a special fund will be created for local youth and community organizations to implement the action plan over a three-year period.  

In its third year, this groundbreaking project has already seen hundreds of young people use arts to raise awareness about of issues of restorative justice, public safety, rehabilitation and incarceration. Thanks to a generous grant from TD Bank Group and Fred and Elizabeth Fountain, an exhibition was hosted by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, from September 2014 through January 2015, enabling over 15,000 Canadians to obtain a unique youth perspective on justice and reconciliation.

A solidarity justice triptych designed as a community outreach art project was then displayed at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia from the summer of 2015 until spring 2016. Youth from Herring Cove Jr. High, Madeline Symonds Middle School, Oxford School, J.L. Ilsley High, Halifax West, Phoenix Youth Program, and IWK Choices program participated in this art project. The partnership involved the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and ArtsExpress of the Halifax Regional School Board with additional funding support from the Lighthouses Grant:  Department of Justice Youth on the Radar program.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation’s Arts for Collective Impact Programming

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation empowers thousands of young people from underserved backgrounds to use their creativity to drive sustainable strategies that transform lives and revitalize communities. As part of our 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible program, high profile exhibitions, featuring emerging artists from disadvantaged communities, serve as catalysts to help undeserved youth mobilize stakeholders and the broader public around issues that matter to them. Then, as part of our Youth Community Action program, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation supports youth-driven organizations over a three-year period in responding to issues raised in each exhibition by developing and implementing action plans. Each plan is designed and implemented collaboratively by and for youth working with artists, government representatives, business leaders, academia, law enforcement, health and social service agencies, legal experts, neighbourhood associations and more. Learn how you can get involved at www.fmjf.ca.