For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Annie Gardiner / firstname.lastname@example.org / 510.339.1363
Media Preview: Thursday, March 5, 5:00 PM
Foster Youth Museum Presents First Public Exhibit: Lost Childhoods
March 6 – March 29, 2015
Exhibition Location: Warehouse 416, 416 26th Street, Oakland, CA
First Friday: Friday, March 6, 6:00-10:00 PM
February 19, 2015 – Oakland, CA – Foster Youth Museum presents a groundbreaking exhibit about youth experiences in foster care. Through photos, donated objects, video portraits, and foster youth art, Lost Childhoods tells the story of loss and powerlessness – and the human capacity for resilience and connection.
Visitors may be surprised by some of the artifacts that youth have chosen to save and share, from the hefty case reports that follow foster youth from placement to placement, to letters from incarcerated loved ones. In the words of contributor, Sophia Herman, “It’s so important for foster youth to have documentation of their experiences. Lost Childhoods validates our existence.”
The museum highlights several themes that characterize experiences in foster care, including loss, developmental disruption, institutionalization, and powerlessness. The museum does not stop there, however, and also highlights the remarkable stories of perseverance, achievement and connection. In the words of Ray Bussolari, guest curator, “Lost Childhoods gives foster youth a voice, and is a vessel for both healing and community building. People can’t help but see how youth can heal and grow with supportive relationships and respect.”
In 2012, there were 51,800 children under the age of 18, in California, living in foster care. Approximately 4,000 foster youth “age out” of care each year with insufficient housing, support, education, wellness, and resources.
Lost Childhoods is guest curated by Ray Bussolari and a team of exhibition collaborators – Jazzalyn Lamadora, Crystal O’Grady, and Ruby Rosas – all of whom are former foster youth. The exhibit features 50 items, and is made possible with the generous support of Zellerbach Family Foundation and Stuart Foundation.
Warehouse 416 gallery is open March 6 for First Friday from 6-10 PM; Saturdays in March from 1-5pm; and by appointment. Admission is free.
Foster Youth Museum was conceived by a group of former foster youth (Jamie Lee Evans, Jennifer Rodriguez, Penny Sandhu, Jimmy Mosqueda, Nicole McGovern and Nicole Demedenko Lehman), who wanted to share their experiences, so people could better understand the needs of foster youth in their community.
About Foster Youth Museum
Foster Youth Museum is a collaboration between current and former foster youth, under the direction of Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project and California Youth Connection. The Museum builds awareness for the foster youth experience, from loss and vulnerability to healing and resilience. By bearing witness to the art, artifacts, voices, and stories of youth who have endured the foster care system, the museum ignites compassion and action so you can be part of transforming youth through supportive and meaningful connection. Lost Childhoods is available for rental at your gallery, event, or convening. For more information, visit fosteryouthmuseum.org. Follow us on facebook/fosteryouthmuseum and twitter.com/fosteryouthmuseum to join the conversation about the exhibit.