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Coconino County Adult Probation Department (CCAPD) and Creative Spirits partnered with area agencies, including Coconino County Victim Witness, to develop 252-square-feet of art murals that promote healthy relationships.
The art project that addresses social change and intends to reduce recidivism, will be mounted on the exterior of the County Adult Probation Office in Flagstaff.
The murals were created by Coconino Adult Probation clients and are representative of the key relationships in the clients’ lives. The murals create a shared community experience for probation clients and a calming visual display for people visiting the Adult Probation Office. “I’m extremely proud of our Adult Probation team, our clients and the many partnerships that helped support this mural,” said Chief Probation Officer Sarah Douthit. “Accessing the vast artistic talents of our clients helps us all to see the positive contributions that are possible from the justice involved population when opportunities are provided for change. “Forty years of research shows us that when justice involved individuals feel connected to community, public safety is improved at a reduced cost. We intend to continue to promote health and wellbeing for our clients and the community as a theme for upcoming art projects. I also hope that this project increases awareness and engagement on social problems that impact all of us.” The project was supported by a grant from the AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI). The AZ CCI is an initiative of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance, an affiliate nonprofit of the University of Arizona. The project was also made possible by the Surdna Foundation. To prepare for the project, the Adult Probation team hosted community events including public canvas paintings and free studio-painting events at Creative Spirits in Flagstaff. The Department also consulted local artists such as Shonto Begay to help guide the project. The Department intends to continue the project and partner with other organizations such as the Coconino Health and Human Services department. Future themes could include addressing food insecurity, substance abuse, mental health and other social issues affecting the community. The community is invited to celebrate this project with refreshments and the unveiling of the murals from 4 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7 at 222 E. Birch Ave. Flagstaff in the parking lot facing the mounted murals.