Imago Dei is an arts-intervention, violence prevention youth program at St. Agnes of Bohemia. Our goal is to passionately help flourish the identity of at-risk youth in Little Village through mentoring, art, and faith to transform them into agents of change for the community.
The name Imago Dei, Latin for “Image of God”, reflects this mission and purpose. Rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, we believe that each life is willed, wanted, and loved by God. Recognizing the divine image in each one of us promotes positive self-image, self-esteem, and an authentic sense of belonging. Furthermore, it is foundational for ethical living; the youth are enabled to value the dignity of themselves and others, and therefore are taught to reject all actions opposed to this such as violence and crime. Our name encapsulates the very essence of identity with regards to God and the self; externally with the community and the world and internally between the individual and God. In notion with images, “Imago” also supports the arts (imagery) as a way to encourage this divine image to be seen in ourselves and in the world.
Its purpose is geared towards academic tutoring and developmental skills through the arts. We are striving to break many of the boundaries disadvantaged youth have when it comes to gang recruitment by opening doors of opportunity to other interests and higher educational opportunities.
Youth are encouraged to engage in peace circles, create their own art, and participate in an array of activities. Bi-annually, youth will create a public mural in Little Village and host an annual art gallery exhibition of their work throughout the year. The sales generated from the exhibit will go back to the program and participants to continue the fruits born at Imago Dei.
If you are between 6th-8th grade and are interested in participating in Imago Dei, please contact Padre Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 773.522.0142 for more information.