clear How Do Arts and Performances Prevent or Reduce Crime?

Because they reach a wide audience, arts and performances are effective ways to prevent or reduce crime. By reaching new audiences with each performance or display, arts and performances increase awareness and refresh anticrime messages for those who may have heard but forgotten them. They also communicate messages in multiple ways to emphasize key ideas, allowing youth to use their artistic, musical, dramatic, and other talents to deliver vital information to the community.

By allowing youth to use their creative talents, arts and performances help youth develop a sense of identity, independence, discipline, and self-worth. They also help prevent or reduce crime and violence among the young artists and performers involved. According to research, students who participate in band, orchestra, chorus, or drama are significantly less likely than nonparticipants to drop out of school, be arrested, use drugs, or engage in binge drinking. For examples of dance-, music-, and drama-focused programs that successfully combine strategies for crime prevention and crime reduction, check out the programs described the box, "Examples of Programs That Work."

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Youth In Action Bulletin December 1999   black   Number 11