Foster Youth Exhibit Aims For Action

MAH’s first foray into issue-driven exhibitions designed for foster youth, with foster youth

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Some museum exhibitions invite attendees to feel, others to think. An all-new exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History goes a step further by empowering attendees to act.


Opening July 7, “Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth & Foster Youth Museum” reveals intimate experiences of youth transitioning out of the foster care system through personal belongings, photographs, and artwork.


There are 60,000 youth in California’s foster care system who struggle to avoid homelessness, prison, and social stigma. Their stories are often unknown. The goal of the exhibition is to inform and inspire direct, effective action, and visitors will leave with one of more than 60 action cards empowering them to do everything from donating clothing and volunteering to beginning the process of becoming a foster parent themselves.


Lost Childhoods was created out of an incredibly collaborative process that included input from more than 100 current and former foster youth, artists, and advocates from across Santa Cruz County as well as the Foster Youth Museum.


The diverse group, called C3 for Creative Community Committee, first met in January to identify the most important stories, themes, and issues related to transition-age foster youth in Santa Cruz County. In the months following, they worked closely to develop collaborative artwork and, in the case of the foster youth, to share their own stories which will be included with the exhibition.


The powerful exhibition features personal belongings of foster youth, stunning photography by Ray Bussolari, and four different art installations that foster youth created with artists Bridget Henry, Melody Overstreet, Elliott Taylor, and Nada Miljkovic as part of the collaborative process.


WHAT: Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth & Foster Youth Museum


WHEN: July 7, 2017 – December 31, 2017


WHERE: Solari Gallery, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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