A Powerful Force: Working to End Homelessness Through Art features original artwork created by young people experiencing homelessness. The exhibition’s title was inspired by sentiments original expressed by Walt Disney himself: “There is great comfort and inspiration in this feeling of close human relationships and its bearing on our mutual fortunes—a powerful force to overcome the tough breaks which are certain to come for most of us from time to time.”
A Powerful Force will feature artworks created by homeless youth with three greater San Francisco Bay Area partner organizations: Raphael House, Larkin Street Project, and Youth Spirit Artworks. These nonprofit organizations each strive to help at-risk youth and their families achieve independence by providing career-building skills, educational programs, and safe housing.
“This project is a powerful force, because it brings together community organizations that are making a great difference for a population that needs it,” says A Powerful Force curator, Antonia Dapena-Tretter. “Through its global audience, The Walt Disney Family Museum has the rare ability to raise exposure of some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.”
The artworks in the exhibition were created over a four-month period, with Dapena-Tretter and The Walt Disney Family Museum’s Education team providing free, on-site educational art programming for participating youth, ages 6 to 25. Over 35 students were encouraged to tell their stories and personal journeys through their artwork, offering them a platform for self-expression, growth, and connection. Admission to this exhibition is free to the public.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, a fundamental component of The Walt Disney Family Museum’s mission has been to foster creative growth and offer personalized educational programs for the next generation of artists. “A Powerful Force is fifth in an annual exhibition series that takes inspiration from the vision of our museum’s founder and Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, who championed arts access as a vital component of the museum’s ongoing commitment to community engagement,” says Kirsten Komoroske, Executive Director of The Walt Disney Family Museum. “In honoring her legacy, we feel especially proud to provide a space for underrepresented and underserved members of our local community to showcase their artwork, while shining a spotlight on the accomplishments of three incredible social impact organizations.”
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