Lost Childhoods

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

This year, C3 members worked together on Lost Childhoods, a public art exhibition about transition-age foster youth across California.

There are 60,000 youth in California’s foster care system. They struggle to avoid homelessness, prison, and social stigma. Their stories– of loss and resilience– are often unknown. That’s why we created an exhibition about foster youth — with foster youth.

Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth and the Foster Youth Museum showcases the stories, struggles, and triumphs of youth who are aging out of foster care. You will see personal belongings of foster youth, stunning photography by Ray Bussolari, and four different art installations foster youth created with artists Bridget Henry, Melody Overstreet, Elliott Taylor, and Nada Miljkovic.

This exhibition was created with the Foster Youth Museum and MAH’s Creative Community Committee (C3)— a group of over 100 local foster youth, artists, and youth advocates. Revealing what happens in foster care and concrete ways to support child welfare today, this is more than a moving exhibition– it is a powerful platform for dialogue and action in Santa Cruz County.

This project was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council, a state agency.

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

Exhibit Events

MAH Members and C3 Partners Preview Party

Thursday July 6th, 6-8pm

FREE First Friday

Opening of Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth

Friday July 7th, 2017, 5-8pm

Film Screening: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Sunday, July 16th 2017, 1-3pm

Join us for a fun-filled day with a screening of the film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family.We’ll hang out at the MAH, watch a movie, enjoy ice-cream and get in touch with our adventurous spirit with youth-led art activities.

Lost Childhoods: ‘The F Word’ Web Series Screening

Sunday, August 6th 2017, 1-3pm

Laugh, chat, and sit for a screening of docu-comedy series, The F Word. This series chronicles the journey of Nicole and Kristan, an Oakland-based queer couple who want to adopt a kid. This short, comedic documentary series chronicles their journey into the foster care system to become fostadopt parents, bumbling through a bizarre and bureaucratic maze in order to learn everything they can about the troubled institution on which they are staking their dreams of parenthood. After the film screening will be a Q&A discussion with Nicole Opper, followed by discussion break-out sessions facilitated by community partners and collaborators who made the exhibition possible.

Pop Up Museum with New Families

Thursday, August 10th 2017, 4-6pm

Bring an object, memorabilia, or photograph to share with the public. The theme of this pop up is COMFORT. What brings you comfort? We will ask you to write a brief label about the object and how it comforts you. Our collaborator, New Families, Inc. is a Foster Family Agency, founded in May, 1999 by Janet Parske. Ms. Parske has been a strong advocate for children for over 20 years. New Families in conjunction with our certified foster families, provides care for abused, neglected and troubled children.

* A Pop Up Museum is a temporary exhibit created by the people who show up to participate. It works by choosing a theme and location, and inviting people to bring something on topic to share. This Pop Up Museum invites you to share your story with others to connect and share your story.

Lightning Talks: The Struggle is Real

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 7–9:30 pm

How have Santa Cruz County communities journeyed through struggle and into resilience? These Lightning Talks on The Struggle is Real will focus on life’s many challenges and transformations spanning across class, race, gender, and sexuality, to transportation, healthcare, foster care; from incarceration, and education, to housing, mental health, and homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Talks begin at 8:30pm, precluded by Intercultural Facilitator and Community Action Board board member, Silvia Austerlic’s workshop, Fostering Resiliency: Building an Inner Sanctuary from 7-8pm.