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Assembly x NYU 2018: Art | Education | Community Practice


April 19, 2018

NYU: Steinhardt

On April 19, 2018 artist and Assembly lead educator Shaun Leonardo, along with members of the program’s peer leadership group led a participatory presentation informed by the Assembly curriculum and co-curated by our collaborators.

Assembly is at once a public storefront gallery and an artist-led diversion program for court-involved youth in partnership with Brooklyn Justice Initiatives. Assembly seeks to dismantle the dominant narratives of the “criminal” through a series of workshops designed by artists Melanie Crean, Sable Smith and Shaun Leonardo, in collaboration with individuals who are court-involved, formerly incarcerated, or otherwise affected by the criminal justice system.

Through a curriculum based on visual storytelling, participants translate personal narratives into performance in order to replace a culturally embedded conception of criminality with new language so that the mind and body may think, feel, and move in a way not defined by their previous experience with arrest and incarceration.