Lincoln Public Schools Pathfinder Program
Education and Engagement Program at Pathfinder
Organization Representatives: Randy Farmer and Dirk Baker
Artist Educators: Nancy Konrardy and Aaron Proett
Imagine being a young person in a youth detention center with a seemingly uncertain future. What happens when the thoughts and feelings that go hand in hand with your situation build up without a place to go? Luckily, the visionary leaders at Pathfinder and Lincoln Arts Council Artist Educators have built a special program that allows the young people who are currently detained there the ability to express themselves through visual arts. This continues to be a healing experience for the young people, many of whom are trauma survivors.
Early this winter, one significant experience shared by the students at Pathfinder occurred during a gesture and line drawing exercise. Each student was instructed to look directly into the eyes of another student while drawing them. They did not take their eyes off of each other. Nervous laughter ensued, followed by a sense of focus and comfort, and then a sense of safety and connection. It was unspoken but certain: In that moment, Pathfinder artists were safe to share themselves with the world around them, something that maybe they weren’t so sure of before, but can now carry into a future that’s starting to look a little more certain, in the most positive of ways.