EASTHAMPTON, Mass.—What’s it like to grow up in foster care? What do youth who experience foster care want others to understand about their lives? Come find out! Youth Truth is a live performance of original poetry, music, theater and visual art that busts commonly held myths about foster care and adoption.
On Friday, March 13th, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., HEROES Youth Leadership Project will be performing Youth Truth at the Red Barn at Hampshire College. Youth Truth is presented by the Treehouse Foundation and directed by Enchanted Circle Theater, the regional leader in arts integration and educational theater. Community leaders, area legislators, families, staff of the Department of Children & Families, youth in care, foster care alumni, and the general public are invited to attend.
Launched in 2010, HEROES is dedicated to empowering youth to help create a better foster care system. The program brings together young people ages 14 – 24 who have experienced foster care to build community, develop life skills that support educational and social success, and promote college exposure. Using the arts and outdoor adventure, HEROES provides the skills for youth to become leaders in their own lives and communities. Programs promote healing and growth; build competence, self-esteem and enhance resilience.
HEROES Coordinator, Chris Langelier says “HEROES young people form an amazing community of support. As a youth-led group, they come together to build community, teach people about the realities of foster care and adoption, and to create change in our foster care system.”
Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive director of Enchanted Circle Theater says, “We’ve been collaborating with Treehouse since 2007, and are thrilled to see the quality of creative expression generated by HEROES Youth. The arts are an important leadership development tool, a meaningful way to develop voice, perspective and self-confidence. Youth Truth is a powerful performance piece.”
Youth Truth participants say: “I never thought I would be able to get in front of other people to perform and be my true self.” And, that because of Youth Truth, “I feel more confident and ready to tackle bigger challenges.”
Tickets to the Youth Truth performance are available on a sliding scale of $0 – $15. Purchase tickets online at http://youthtruth2015.eventbrite.com. Revenue from ticket sales directly supports program needs.
WHAT – Youth Truth Performance
WHEN – Friday, March 13 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (Snow date is Saturday, March 14th 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)
WHERE – Hampshire College Red Barn, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002
WHO – The Treehouse Foundation’s HEROES Youth Leadership Project directed by Enchanted Circle Theater
Founded in 2002, the Treehouse Foundation works to ensure that every child is rooted in family and community. Treehouse has two primary initiatives: 1) The Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Movement, which provides opportunities for regional investment in the success and well-being of children and families who experience foster care, and 2) The award-winning Treehouse Multi-generational Community in Easthampton, MA, where elders and families adopting children from foster care live in a close knit neighborhood, investing in each other’s lives daily.
Enchanted Circle Theater (ECT), founded in 1976, is an educational theater company dedicated to engaging, enhancing, and inspiring learning through the arts. ECT is the regional leader in arts integration, using theater arts as a dynamic teaching tool in public and private schools, pre-schools, university classrooms, professional theaters, museums, and human services agencies, with people of all ages and abilities. ECT is proud to be the recipient of a 2015 Commonwealth Award: Massachusetts’ highest honor in arts, humanities, & sciences.
[From a News Release]