A local nonprofit organization in Tucson is expanding by taking on additional projects, and it's been inspiring other cities around the country to take a look at its programs for possible ideas.

The Tucson Arts Brigade describes itself as a "participatory service-based community arts and education organization" that works with Southern Arizona residents on finding solutions to different issues.

These include crime, drug use and graffiti.

Jodi Netzer is the director of outreach and marketing for the group. She says its members, volunteers and participants are proud of their efforts, which include murals, graffiti abatement, and arts performances.

For example, Netzer says the brigade works to turn "taggers into stewards" by providing "whole person education" to include emotional support and job training.

"These kids need love, not to go into prison," Netzer says.

On Friday, September 21st, the Tucson Arts Brigade is holding a celebration to mark its move into a new office at the Historic Y on 5th Avenue and University Boulevard north of downtown Tucson.

The building also houses other nonprofit social service, cultural and environmental organizations.