Lost Childhoods

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

This year, C3 members will work together on Lost Childhoods, a public art exhibition showcasing the stories, struggles, and triumphs of transition-age foster youth across California. We look forward to working with you to make this exhibition as powerful as possible a platform for dialogue and action in Santa Cruz County.

LOST CHILDHOODS is a creative collaboration between the MAH, Foster Youth Museum, artists, foster youth, and advocates to empower youth to share their often-hidden experiences transitioning out of the foster care system, using art, artifacts and stories to inspire community awareness, social action, and individual engagement.

We are working with the Foster Youth Museum and will build on their existing artifacts and artwork to make an exhibition that speaks to our county. This exhibition of photographs, artifacts, and commissioned art installations is contextualized in the sweeping change of AB403 and rooted in the voices of transition-age foster youth.

Here are the big ideas behind the exhibition.


  • understand the authentic experience of foster care from a youth’s perspective (Foster Youth Museum).
  • feel empowered to take action and know how to do so.
  • have a visceral, emotional experience that sparks empathy.
  • understand that this is a foster youth-driven project that welcomes and empowers foster youth.
  • make a connection to a personal experience they had (family, childhood, etc).
  • learn the basic history, facts, and risk factors of the foster care system.

There’s a lot more information about the project in this grant proposal narrative.