Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=160923
Story Retrieval Date: 4/18/2014 11:21:31 PM CST

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Jordan Graham/Medill


On the South Side, art reflects, protects teens from street violence

by Jordan Graham
March 09, 2010


At Little Black Pearl art center on west 47th Street, a group of teenagers got ready to record a piece of music on Monday. The art center is a place where teenagers and children come to sing, but also to paint, sculpt and act—generally just to express themselves creatively.

It’s also a place designed to be a safe haven, to keep the children away from the violence-plagued streets. The need for that kind of place was evident in the extreme on Monday when, just blocks from the Little Black Pearl, gun violence claimed the lives of two young men. 

Since its launch in 1994, the center has expanded from humble origins in founder Monica Haslip's basement to occupying a 40,000-square-foot building in Kenwood.