This past week the Innercity Arts program held their first in-person art auction since 2019. The last few years the auction was hosted online. The venue was the prestigious Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) in downtown Ottawa.
The youth were asked to arrive an hour early before the guests were due to arrive. As each youth member walked into the room their faces lit up with excitement as they saw their artwork displayed that they have been working so hard on over the past few months.
As guests arrived the youth, with pride, would escort their friends and family to view the art that they had created.
The past few months has been a lot of hard work planning for this event. It was both me and Jordan’s (Youth Coodinator) first time organizing an art auction – one that we had never been to in the past. At times It was quite overwhelming but watching the youth filled with so much joy that night made it all worth the effort.
There was one moment during the night that stood out for me. I was standing with a youth named Sarah, who attends the Wednesday art group, enjoying the live music performance. I noticed another youth named John, who attends the Thursday art group, sitting by himself. I told Sarah that I was going to invite John to join us. Sarah then offered to walk across the room and invite John herself. This was amazing because they haven’t met before due to their attendance on different nights.
The Innercity Arts program is not just a program, it’s a community. It’s a family where everyone is welcomed and everyone is accepted.
~Marissa – Youth Program Assistant