By: Miguel Weinstein
Being a part of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s (MAH) Creative Community Committee has been an awesome experience! I’m happy to have met all of the helpful community members at MAH and can’t wait until the exhibit opens up later this summer. I think it is important that communities are aware that there are children without role models so that youth in the system can be mentored by community members outside of their placements and therapy sessions. It takes a community to raise a child. When parents fail to raise a young person, the community needs to be there to provide the guidance that would otherwise have been there for the youth.
The sense of community that should be held responsible for picking up the slack from biological parents is so prominent in Santa Cruz. I used to ditch class in Salinas just to go hang out in Santa Cruz with my buddy in high school. In a time where I did not have much structure, guidance, or permanency in my life, Santa Cruz was there to pick up the slack. I never felt judged, but instead, I felt supported by the community.
The very same sense of community I felt in Santa Cruz during my rough high school career is ever so present during our sessions at MAH. I feel that the community is coming from a place of genuine compassion. It is so refreshing to hear that MAH wants to help us fosters tell our story. It is my sincere hope that when community members walk through the finished exhibit, they will walk away with a sense of purpose and direction. I want people to walk away armed with the knowledge to take action and step up to the plate. Through volunteering your time, you could be that pivotal point in a young person’s life.
After a great show at local gallery Warehouse 416 last year, Foster Youth Museum will return to the popular art spot with Tribute: Foster Youth Tattoo Stories in the new year. Come check out the beautiful black and white photographs featuring former foster youth and the stories behind their tattoos and experiences in care.
Join us at First Friday on January 6, 2017 from 6-10 pm or every Saturday in January from 1-5 pm. Warehouse 416 is located at 416 26th Street, Oakland, CA.