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Baker Botts Partner Kristin Cope Co-Chairs Project to Help Homeless Youth

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DALLAS, July 2, 2020 - Baker Botts partner Kristin Cope was one of three Co-Chairs of the Creating Opportunities for Artistic Expression project, organized through the North Texas Business Council for the Arts and its 2020 class of Leadership Arts Institute (LAI). The project was a collaboration between LAI and After8toEducate to bring artistic expression to the residential  wing at the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center, a homeless youth shelter. 

The Center comprises an emergency youth center and a transitional living program for unsheltered high school students in the Dallas Independent School District, where there are more than 4,000 homeless students.

“We believe that art has the power to encourage and empower, so we’re honored to be able to bring art to this residential youth center in the forms of a podcast studio and related storytelling programming for the students, an art corner for personal art expression, and inspiring art to enliven the space,” Ms. Cope said. “We want DISD youth to have the support they need to find the strength and voices they already have.”

The project provided technology to facility staff, outfitted a podcast studio with essential equipment, supplied an art corner where students can create meaningful art and communicate with one another.  It also raised funding for a full two years of student programming and production by OutLoud Consulting, which will give students an opportunity to express themselves through the power of the spoken word.  The group installed a storytelling phone booth to share the podcasts and stories the youth create with future residents of the Youth Center.  Lastly, the project commissioned and installed more than a dozen colorful and inspiring original art installations around the Center.  

Creative expression is not only a positive force in the lives of students experiencing homelessness, but research has shown it as vital to survival for street-involved youth. 

At Baker Botts, Ms. Cope is a skilled trial and appellate lawyer. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, frequently involving high-stakes business disputes and cutting-edge issues in the intellectual property, energy, technology, and financial sectors. She has represented clients in state and federal trial courts, various Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

 

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