Restorative Arts

The Restorative Arts program is a collaboration between Metro Arts, the Metro Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Court (JJC), and their Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) contracted provider to create an arts-integrated intervention system for court-involved youth that focuses on resiliency, positive youth development, and restoring empowered youth and families.

Under the leadership of Judge Sheila Calloway, JJC officials support court-involved youth to heal, grow and thrive by assessing each individual’s skills and needs and connecting them and their families to resources aimed at health and well-being. As there is growing evidence that long term, sustained arts learning and arts experiences have deep and lasting positive impact on children’s cognitive development, through this partnership, we are helping to facilitate artists to create programming inclusive of children and youth who have been involved with the justice system. Through these arts interactions, youth develop a growing capacity for emotional attachment, empathy, reasoning, decision-making, trust, self-identity, and self and community esteem.

Through quality programming that is trauma-informed and anchored in positive youth development practices, the program positions the arts as a part of restorative practice and creates a protective environment for court-involved youth to heal, grow and thrive. Introducing them to a wide variety of art forms (drumming, dance, theater, spoken word, visual art, etc.) not only unlocks their potential by teaching skills in perseverance, self-expression, empathy, community building, but also empowers the youth to make more positive choices.

FY22 Restorative Arts Guidelines

FY22 Restorative Arts Provider Application

Contact Youth Program Specialist Nichole Robinson with questions.

Opportunity NOW Arts Experiences

Opportunity NOW 2021 Arts Host Sites 

Read about our 2020 Opportunity Now partners' experiences

Opportunity NOW (ON) is Nashville’s youth employment initiative, working to provide young people in Davidson County access to employment. Administering the initiative is the Metropolitan Action Commission (MAC).

Opportunity NOW was named as a resource to support the neighborhood within the 37208 in the report produced by the 37208 Special Committee. North Nashville, whose zip code is 37208, is a historic community whose evolution is reflected in its rich heritage, honored traditions, memories, and resilience. As part of its mission to strengthen the creative workforce and deepen artistic participation in Nashville, Metro Arts partners with MAC to provide project-based work experiences through the Opportunity NOW program that are centered in the arts for young people ages 14-16 during the summer. For summer 2021, there will be a priority to serve the community within the 37208 zip code.

For further assistance, please contact:  Nichole Robinson, Youth Program Specialist at

Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) Internships


Metro Arts partners with Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to host DIAL, a virtual summer professional development experience designed to promote cultural equity in the arts management field. The program seeks undergraduate college candidates from backgrounds underrepresented in arts leadership. Interns are matched with local nonprofit arts organizations and engage in remote work projects that will support the organization and expand the skills and knowledge of the intern.

Meet our 2021 DIAL Interns​