The RAISE Program
Supported in part by the French Regional & American Museum Exchange (FRAME).
The Responding to Art Involves Self Expression (RAISE) program is a collaboration between the Berkshire County Juvenile Court (BCJC) and the Clark. RAISE participants take part in group meetings, writing and self awareness exercises, and gallery talks. This alternative sentencing model shifts the sentencing paradigm from punishment to education, offering participants a new way to think about their lives and their potential. Since its inception in 2006, RAISE has served more than 75 boys and girls ages 12 to 17 from Berkshire County.
Berkshire County Juvenile Court personnel have lauded the program as "one of the most effective and uplifting programs offered through the Berkshire County Juvenile Probation Department” and “a revelation of emotion." In the fall of 2009, First Justice Daniel J. Swords requested that BCJC and Clark staff present the program to other municipalities in the Commonwealth with fine art museums; through the French Regional and American Museum Exchange (FRAME) the program is being replicated at other museums in America, as well as in France. RAISE has been recognized for excellence by the International Council of Museums and the French American Museum Exchange. The program has garnered support from the Annenberg Foundation and the United States Department of State, and this spring, RAISE received the AAM EdCom’s 2010 Excellence in Programming national award.