Address: 3722 W Chicago
Chicago, IL 60647
Graffiti Zone is an after-school arts program in which youth can connect with themselves and their community through art making and arts promotion. Art is used as a tool to develop business skills, leadership skills, increase self-esteem, strengthen community involvement and encourage advanced education. Artist Jody Cooley founded Graffiti Zone in 2006 as a drop-in arts studio for children and teens in West Humboldt Park.
The program was established in direct response to a pressing community need: to keep young people off the streets during the critical afterschool hours when drug and gang-related activity is at its peak. Cooley generated interest in the studio using street outreach methods common to social services organizations. Upon identifying at-risk youth hanging out on street corners, staff members invited them in to the studio to work on arts projects, learn new skills, and find support in a safe environment. Graffiti Zone now provides art classes, workshops and art shows at Cameron Elementary School, Rowe Clark and West Town Academy.