A San Francisco Bay Area museum is taking an unusual tack with an exhibition about foster youth in California. The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History invited a team of former foster youth and advocates to help put the show together.
Five months before the show Lost Childhoods went up, around a hundred former foster youth and advocates began meeting at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History to talk about what the exhibition would look like.
Community engagement director Stacey Garcia explains, “We are not experts in what foster youth have gone through, what they want to share. We know how to make an exhibition, but we don’t know how to tell their story. They do.”
Jess Prudent works as an outreach assistant with Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County, which supports children in foster care.
Prudent was skeptical at first that the museum wanted anything more than superficial advice from the Creative Community Committee (C3), but was soon won over by the hands-on curatorial process.