A totally unexpected outcome was realized at our youth art show just a few months ago, and I don’t think I told you about it. So have a read, and let me know if you don’t think that this is the coolest…
The kids were pumped, everything was ready, all the art work was in place, snacks, interactive art table (the kids’ idea), it was all so special, so beautiful. But none of it was really as beautiful as this.
I mingled with the kids, the volunteers, and introduced myself to some of the early arrival guests. I had the chance to meet some people that I did not recognize, and early into our conversations, they identified themselves as parents, relatives, grandparents, cousins or some link of family members to the artists in our Passion for Youth art program.
At first, I thought this was very cool. Then, as I met more and more relatives of the kids, whether on my own, or one of the kids would introduce their ‘kin’ to me, the degree of coolness increased significantly.
It had not occurred to me that the kids would have relatives come out to such an event (I am not sure why). It sure meant a lot to the kids though. Of course, some of the parents/ relatives were very interested in winning the bid on certain of the art pieces. I think each was successful. While they did not bring their kids home that night, they took a piece of them through the art work their kids had created.
In debriefing with our youth outreach worker, Jason, I mentioned that there was quite an interest on the part of the relatives of the kids, and was this an expected outcome?
No, it wasn’t really, but it made sense to me when Jason gave me a bit of explanation. Most of the ‘events’ that the kids are involved in with other social service agencies in the city, have to do with such things as safe sex, harm reduction, drug use, safe drug use, etc. – which are exactly NOT the sort of things the kids wanted to sport in front of their parents or relatives.
But an art show? Bring it on!
The kids were so proud of the fact that they were the featured artists, that ‘many others’ in the community wanted to come (and pay) to see their creations, that they were the centre of attention, that people wanted to talk to them about their art, their stories, their ideas – it was a win-win-win situation.
THAT they could invite their relatives to.
Five of the kids had one or more family members at the exhibition/silent auction that evening.
I’d say that is taking a step in the right direction, wouldn’t you?