The Bubbler’s Making Justice program, which engages at-risk and court-involved teens, had to suddenly halt all of its in-person programs in March due to the coronavirus.

Teen Services Librarian Jesse Vieau, who coordinates the program, said he and fellow team members have been running weekly Zoom workshops with teens at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center since May. Artists are centering the digital time around lyrics, beat production, messaging and lettering. “The students have been very appreciative of the sessions, and the chance to share and create around the things currently going on in society,” he wrote in a recent report. “Each week, we continue to learn more about the best ways to (and not to) go about the workshops within the online format.”

The Making Justice team also conducts weekly workshops with juveniles staying at Dane County’s Shelter Home, a temporary residential facility for those awaiting court action, and recently engaged artists and Shelter Home occupants to safely create a beautiful mural outside the facility.

Partnerships with Dane County’s Neighborhood Intervention Program and the state Department of Corrections’ GROW Center are on hold as Bubbler staff work to understand their resource and program needs as schools start back up and families begin to fall into a new pattern. Programming with the Madison Metropolitan School District is also on hold as library staff explore ways to safely administer it.

Making Justice is supported by lead gifts from Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, Epic, Madison Arts Commission, Patricia Meloy, Leila & Mickey Straus Family Foundation, and Scooter Software.