For many children the concept of not having someone to call mom or dad is a foreign one. But the reality is that nationwide there are about 542,000 children in foster care and each year about 20,000 “age out” -- approximately 1,100 young adults are left on their own right here in the Long Island area.
Professional photographers, writers and reporters from the New York area have teamed up with SalaamGarageNYC to bring attention to this issue in an exhibition titled Everybody Needs Someone, The Aging-Out of Foster Care Project on display at the Long Island Children's Museum (LICM) through Sept. 2.
The photo exhibit presents an intimate look at the struggles and triumphs of 15 young adults as they transition from foster care into independent lives in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
In keeping with the interactive nature of the children’s museum, the exhibit features a hands-on component that encourages the museum’s visitors to think about what it’s like to live in many homes with different families by having them select one item they would bring if they had to move to a new home.
The photo exhibit will grow throughout its run, as SalaamGarageNYC photographers create a large scale scrapbook-style family album in the museum’s Community Gallery featuring some of the museum’s visitors.
Families visiting LICM on Friday, July 6 and Thursday, July 19 from 1:30–4 p.m. have the opportunity to become part of this collaborative exhibit as they pose for family portraits. Registration is free with museum admission, but space is limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis. As a gift each family that participates will also receive a print of their family photo to take home.
The photographers featured in the exhibit include: Ian Spanier; Heather Walsh; Moya McAllister; Matt Furman; Jordan Hollender; Robert Hooman; Amelia Coffaro; Lisa Weatherbee; Alejandra Villa; Jim Sewastynowicz; Bruce Byers; William Vazquez; and Yvonne Allaway.
All activities will be held at the Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Museum admission: $11 for adults and children over 1 year old, under 1 year old free and $10 seniors. Additional fees for theater and special programs may apply. For additional information, contact 516-224-5800 or visit www.licm.org.