Arts in Institutions
Zoot has designed and taught arts & cultural programs specifically for prisons, foster care, juvenile facilities, hospitals and mental wards. Institutionalized people learn to craft a story for survival of the “hardened warrior.” But upon release they must tell a different story to parole boards, potential employers and family members for reunification before they can reenter society. This is story they don’t know how to tell. Through theatre improvisation and storytelling, Zoot teaches this for of reentry program. Zoot started as an artist in hospitals, juvenile halls and prisons for 12 years before leading and designing programs for CA Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, CA Arts Council, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, Arts In Corrections, Crittenton Foster Care, Optimist Homes, and others. His programs have been used as youth deterrent programs, re-entry programs, and some have been used as inspiration for films and featured in collections at the Getty Museum and Library of Congress.