The Emanuel Project

In October 2012 students at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall had the unique opportunity to work alongside Emanuel Martinez, a nationally renowned painter, sculptor and muralist. Martinez directed the students in painting two large scale murals, a process he uses to help motivate and improve the lives of incarcerated youth. Eighty percent of the painting of these murals was done by the youth, with one youth taking a leadership role in the two week process.

One painting is in the interior courtyard, where a series of large faces have been painted with the facility's windows serving as eyes. It is called "Seek New Visions". The other, which brightens up the cafeteria is called "Acheive Higher Education".

Emanual Mural 1 

Emanual Mural 2 

The Emanuel Project, which began in January 2011, is a mission by Martinez and his former-student-turned-philanthropist Louisa Craft to transform the walls of juvenile halls into inspirational murals. As described on its website, the project aims to"[provide] art supplies and creative learning opportunities for incarcerated juveniles, engaging them in the classroom, reducing behavioral problems, and improving acedemic success". The Santa Cruz detention facility was the first in the state of California to be selected for The Emanuel Project