Black Book Sessions

Black Book Session, graffiti art, education, restorative justice, Kristina Copeland


The Black Book Sessions came up as a concept at a Vancouver RestART debrief. The art based Black Book Sessions were workshops that borrowed from an old school graffiti practice where graffiti writers get together to socialize and practice in their sketch books. The sessions were focussed on pro-social art and operated as an extension of the Vancouver RestART Project at the Kitsilano Community Centre till 2010. Read more about RestART the Restorative Justice ART Project.

The Black Book Sessions do not advocate the practice of illegal graffiti nor does it promote any other form of criminal behaviour. Instead, it offers a legitimate alternative to illegal graffiti vandalism. The following partners were identified and participated in the pilot program: Kitsilano Community Centre, Vancouver Park Board Arts and Culture, City of Vancouver Mural Program, and the Vancouver Police Department Anti-Graffiti Unit.

Black Book Sessions Now

The Black Book Sessions at the Kitsilano Community Centre have changed to a large degree. For information regarding program availability and course description please contact Kitsilano Community Centre.

Black Book Sessions in YOUR Community

Black Book Sessions offer meaningful opportunities to explore the style and history of Hip Hop ‘graffiti’ art through pro-social avenues. If you want to host Black Book Sessions in your community contact Kristina.

 Why Engage Youth Through Graffiti Art?

If your son/daughter came home and told you they “love basketball” you’d probably buy them a ball and maybe even put up a hoop in the yard. What do you do when your son/daughter comes home with a black book full of graffiti and professes their love of all things ‘graffiti’? Preventing risk taking behaviour while respecting the interests of the individual can be achieved through restorative art programs like Black Book. Engaging, relevant art projects are lead by trained facilitation staff and mentors who have creative skills and credibility with the youth participants. The staff team will involve appropriate individuals from your community and youths are registered through an intake process that insures they are accountable, forthcoming, interested in redirecting their creative energy into positive activities and are wanting to participate fully in conversations and creative activities.

Kristina Copeland, SEZ, graffiti art, education, Black Book Sessions, youth, restorative justicePositive Role Models

Positive adult role models provide artistic mentorship, education and supportive relationships for youth. The young people bond with mentors who have often experienced the graffiti sub-culture and can relate to the youths on a different level than most youth program supervisors. Knowledge of the practices, lingo and current environment make mentors the most important component of restorative art programs where graffiti is a focus.