The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth and the Foster Youth Museum: July 7 2017 – December 31 2017

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

Photograph by Ray Bussolari

Step into an exhibit about foster youth made with foster youth—and leave empowered to take effective action.

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. YOU can take action to help youth succeed by visiting this exhibition and getting involved. Check out 40+ ways to help local foster youth today.

Upcoming Exhibit Events

 

Alternative Expressions Youth Programming Series 3: DIY Herbalism

Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 11:30 am–1:30 pm

Plants and the natural world carry gifts of healing, medicine, friendship, and so much more. Join this workshop to get hands-on with gardening and herbs at the UCSC Farm. Participants will gain knowledge on the medicinal properties of a few select herbs, and will get to make their own chapstick!

Fostering Resilience: What it Took, What it Takes, and Where it Has Taken You

Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1–3:30 pm

Join California Youth Connection and the MAH to discuss how foster youth not only survive, but thrive, contribute and make a difference. This event includes panel discussions from current, former, and older generations of foster youth, and youth-led performances.

 

 

Past 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.

‘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: COMFORT

Thursday, August 10th 2017, 4–6 pm

New Families will be showing their quilt “Enchanted Gardens” in the Secret Garden. The quilt was created by North Coast Needlers for New Families. The theme of this Pop Up Museum is: COMFORT.

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.

Board of Supervisors Meeting: Direct Engagement with Local Foster Youth

Fri, Aug 25, 2017, 12:30–2:30 pm

The Board of Supervisors are coming to the MAH! Attend this meeting to hear about our exhibition, Lost Childhoods, and hear from a panel of local former foster youth to hear how we can support youth in Santa Cruz.

Alternative Expressions Youth Programming Series 1: Watercolor Journaling

Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 11:30 am–1:30 pm

The Lost Childhoods Alternative Expressions Programming kicks off with it’s first Watercolor Journaling workshop! Learn from collaborator, Gay Kraeger who will provide non-threatening, easy-going techniques that cover the basics of drawing, writing, watercoloring and journaling.A variation on the written journal is an illustrated journal — adding the richness of hand drawn images to words.

Pop Up Museum with Cabrillo Guardian Scholars – Achievement Unlocked: Level 1

Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 11  am–1 pm

You’ve reached a new adulting level. What was your “ah-a!” moment that led you to Cabrillo? Where do you want to go from here? We all have our own education path, but how did we get there? What were your achievements along the way? It starts with a source of inspiration and a mix of passion, motivation and curiosity. Whether students in school, or as life-long learners, we all have that lil’ something that we are proud of. What is it for you? Share an object and tell your story.

*This Pop Up Museum is in collaboration with the Cabrillo Guardian Scholars Program. Meet us in the Aptos Campus Quad and bring an object! This is the first of two Pop Up Museum collaborations with Guardian Scholars and the MAH.

Pop Up Museum with Cabrillo Guardian Scholars – Achievement Unlocked: Level 2

Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11  am–1 pm

You’ve reached a new adulting level. What was your “ah-a!” moment that led you to Cabrillo? Where do you want to go from here? We all have our own education path, but how did we get there? What were your achievements along the way? It starts with a source of inspiration and a mix of passion, motivation and curiosity. Whether students in school, or as life-long learners, we all have that lil’ something that we are proud of. What is it for you? Share an object and tell your story.

*This Pop Up Museum is in collaboration with the Cabrillo Guardian Scholars Program. Meet us at the Watsonville Campus (in the Watsonville Center Building A) and bring an object! This is the second of two Pop Up Museum collaborations with Guardian Scholars and the MAH.

Ending Youth Homelessness in Santa Cruz County

Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 6–8 pm

 Join a creative discussion with Encompass Community Services and the local Youth Advisory Board on ending youth homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Hear updates on the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program‘s initiative designed to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. Bear witness to powerful youth presentations and spoken word performances.

Alternative Expressions Youth Programming Series 2: Self Advocacy Workshop

Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 11:30 am–1:30 pm

Learn techniques and skills in building self-advocacy! Participants of this workshop will develop a greater understanding of one’s own needs and gain confidence in recognizing one’s own abilities.

Human Services Public Commission Meeting

Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 8:30 am–10:30 am

The Human Services Commission is holding a public meeting at the MAH. Commission meetings help facilitate citizen involvement in government and to assist the Board in its decision making process. The meeting will begin at 8:30am and end at 10:30am. Meeting members will enjoy a walkthrough of the Lost Childhoods exhibit at 9:45am.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Wylmina Hettinga

    Unbelievable stories of what happened to these children. The system is completely broken. Did anyone see at least one success story in these exhibits? Talk to the interns (they are former foster children). Patrick is one of them. He was hit on his shoulder by a skateboard in a common are in a group home and is physically damaged for life with no ongoing support from the system. Drugs are a terrible tragedy striking these children who have no oversight or say http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/02/436350334/california-moves-to-stop-misuse-of-psychiatric-meds-in-foster-care. Nothing has been done to stop it. See this exhibit and wonder how in the world Santa Cruz County is allowing this display to be exhibited by the public. Why aren’t we supporting the extended families these children are loved by instead of subjecting them to families who fail to help them thrive at best? There are no success stories here in this exhibit. Please go and see for yourself, don’t turn a blind eye to these children

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