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Local artist uses art therapy to bring police, youth together

Local artist uses art therapy to bring police, youth together
Published: Mar. 5, 2022 at 9:28 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2022 at 2:19 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Cincinnati police officers are teaming up with a local artist to engage underprivileged youth using art therapy.

The new project, called ‘I’m Listening,’ is a collaboration between the Cincinnati Police Department and artist Brent Billingsley to work with youth around the city using the power of art therapy.

The ‘I’m Listening’ project will cover crucial life lessons for kids and talk about the importance of seeking out good mentors.

“When you’re walking through life blind­ (and we all do sometimes) find somebody who has been there. Find somebody who is going there and who knows the way,” said Brent Billingsley.

The project allows kids to talk to police officers and ask them questions, allowing them to form relationships and bonds.

Engagement specialist Hannah D’Souza says, “I think seeing the police in a natural setting, in a fun setting, in an artistic setting, in an engaging setting, and not out on the street—children can realize that these are human beings and they want to care for us.”

D’Souza adds that the project really allows kids to see that officers are not here to intimidate others, they’re here to protect others.

The artwork created in the workshops will be combined into a large-scale portable mural to be displayed at a venue.

‘I’m Listening’ continues every Saturday through May and more information can be found on Brent Billingsley’s page.

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