Pop artist, Steve Kaufman, has a long reputation in Los Angeles for employing ex-gang kids to work as assistant in his LA art studio. But he is thinking of bring his program to Las Vegas? His plan is to talk with the Mayor's office in Las Vegas about doing just that-setting up a new Art Studio inside the city's correction center.
Kaufman's proposed art program, between himself and the Nevada Corrections Department, would be a dream come true. Steve Kaufman has faced greater challenges before, and had high success rate with his kids in LA. Kaufman's 10 year in hiring and paying 975 LA ex-gang kids is a well-known success story, in LA's Department of Corrections.
A vast number of Kaufman's kids have gone on to regular jobs, or returned to high school to get their diplomas. Some have even gone to college, often being the first members of their family to break the chain of violence and poverty, by creating a better life for themselves. One exceptional young man, known as "Pit Bull," because of his small stature and street fighting ability, went on to become a Los Angeles doctor.
Kaufman's intended proposal to the Nevada Corrections Department includes tutoring the kids in an in-house arts program. His goal would be to visit the prison and inspire the inmates. Like the program Kaufman started in Los Angeles, the Las Vegas version would focus on kids who "never had a chance in life," and were usually born into families with generations of gang activity. Kaufman often preaches his philosophy to his LA kids, saying, "Prison is the retirement home for gang bangers. Work with me, and you work for yourself, making a better life and future you never had."