Former foster youth share stories of resiliency

Jamie Lee Evans, director of the Foster Youth Museum, introduces the speakers at the foster youth panel held on Sunday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. (Lucjan Szewczyk -- Santa Cruz Sentinel) 

Jamie Lee Evans, director of the Foster Youth Museum, introduces the speakers at the foster youth panel held on Sunday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. (Lucjan Szewczyk -- Santa Cruz Sentinel) 

SANTA CRUZ >> The difference between walking out of foster care empowered and walking out having sustained lifelong injuries could be as simple as the homes in which you were placed. But the uniting factor that brought several former foster children to speak out about their experiences on Sunday was resiliency.

During the Fostering Resilience event held at the Museum of Art and History, panelists from California Youth Connection opened up to discuss how they found their way.

The panels and accompanying art activism workshop and youth-led performances tie into the larger theme of the foster youth experience explored by the museum’s “Lost Childhoods” exhibit on life inside the California foster care system. For at least one of the panelists, Summer Rae Worsham, 21, just being able to come and see the exhibit was something to cross off her bucket list.

“There is a lot of stigma around foster youth — they are bad, they are not going to amount to much — all these statistics packed against us,” Worsham said. “I challenge people to do the research, experience foster kids and learn what they have been through.”

It is exactly this message that some of the attendees took to heart and walked away with.

More here.

Photos from our #Art and #Activism workshop at CAMBA-Beacon

We were invited by CAMBA-Beacon to conduct an Artivist workshop focused on Anti-Bullying/Anti-Violence. Project Attica conducted two workshops serving 60 participants in total.

CAMBA-Beacons are community centers serving the whole family (children and adults) and offering a variety of services and activities to enhance community engagement and healthy living. Beacons operate after school, during the evening and on weekends and represent city-wide cooperation with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Department of Education.

All of CAMBA’s Beacon Centers offer Teen ACTION programs, which seek to cultivate an ethic of service, develop life skills and critical thinking skills, develop leadership skills and promote commitment to academic achievement through a chance to engage in structured learning, service projects, and reflection.

Check out our photos below!


Would you like to host one of our Artivism workshops at your school or non-profit? We would love to hear from you! Contact us!

Since 2011, Project Attica has brought Artivism – a free, dynamic, visual art, interactive workshop to students in New York City. Held in middle schools, high schools and community organizations in the city, Artivism provides students with a space to create works of art by expressing their views about social justice issues on wearable canvases. 

What’s #FosterCare Like? An #artexhibit shows us through the eyes of youth that lived it

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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.

Reaching Vulnerable Youth Through #Streetart in #Jamaica

Jamaica street art image courtesy of  Streetartnews .

Jamaica street art image courtesy of Streetartnews.

The programme was conceived with the intention of finding the good that exists in these communities and using various art forms to highlight these positive elements so that youth living within these communities can use it as an encouraging reference point.

At the same time, it was envisaged that the programme would allow for the creation of a creative space where specifically targeted youth within these communities could learn and express themselves. Within this framework, participants would learn important skills, but more important, they would assist in creating the aesthetic that would better define themselves and their communities. For those who have shown clear artistic talent, they are expected to create at a level where they can become competent in their specialised area. They can even take it a step further and use their art to embark on their own entrepreneurial/professional path. Already, some of the art that is produced in the programme is sold through the Foundation.

Art on the Street is part of The MultiCare Youth Foundation's Visual Arts programme, which also includes the provision of training workshops and guided practice for teachers and students in a variety of art forms, with emphasis on the value of art for creative expression and as a career option.

More ‘inclusive and inspiring’ #publicart expected with city’s plan in #Chicago

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For Kamelia Hristeva, founder and CEO of Green Star Movement, art is about more than paint on walls or the tedium that can come from piecing a mosaic together.

“It creates a sense of place making, a place that’s inclusive and inspiring,” said Hristeva, whose non-profit, art-focused group is responsible for murals, sculptures and mosaics on elementary schools and underpasses throughout the city

“When you beautify a place people care more, it connects to people and helps them connect to different communities and learn about them.”

Through the city’s 50×50 neighborhood art project, Green Star Movement has been involved in creating murals at 65th and 67th Streets and at Belmont and Kenmore Avenues as well as other artworks.

And now more artists will get the opportunity to showcase their art in the city through Chicago’s first public art plan, which aims to showcase and generate more artwork in public spaces.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday announced the plan  – a collaboration between the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Department of Transportation, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries and the Chicago Transit Authority among others.

“It’s the 50 year anniversary of the Wall of Respect and the Picasso sculpture. Those are reflection points for us in charting the history of Chicago and writing a new history,” the mayor said.

“We want to bring the city’s artists together to re-envision our spaces because they are places where we can bring people of different backgrounds together and create a common foundation.”