All posts tagged: youth

Redefining Art & Artist

“I’m redefining what it means to be an artist”: A conversation with Izza Anwar A few months ago we featured artist/educator Jason Wyman’s civic art project #wheredoyoubelong. And last week I caught up on the project’s latest iteration with one of his co-collaborators and one of my favorite former students, Izza Anwar. Izza and I go back a couple years to ‘Flag Stories,’ a SOMArts-based multi-media project we were part of that took us to Malaysia together. I’ve missed Malaysian food and her company ever since! Since then her deepening exploration of art and community have led her full circle back to SOMArts where she’s a first-time curator of an exhibit currently on display. Izza emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan when she was 8. She’s in her last year of high school in San Francisco, eagerly awaiting college acceptance letters. Check out our brief interview below, and visit the show at SOMArts where Izza and other artists will talk about their work this Thursday, February 4, from 6-9 pm. Tell me a little about …

Kids of Incarcerated Parents Speak Up

Millions of children live with one incarcerated parent. We don’t see what’s missing in their lives. We don’t hear what they need from the adults around them. Until, Project WHAT! (We’re Here and Talking), family members, teachers, lawyers, social workers and doctors lacked the children’s view of how best to support their specific needs.  I sat down with Project WHAT! alum and Program Associate Alisha Murdock to learn more. (Photos by photographer Ruth Morgan from the Sentence Unseen exhibit, running through January 23rd at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland) How did Project WHAT! come to your attention? Alisha Murdock: Both my parents were in and out of prison a lot. My friend told me about it because she was in the program, and she learned about it at school. She was going to El Cerritto High. From being in the program, I hear that people find out about it from school counselors or word of mouth. For me, staying connected with Project WHAT! has meant a lot because it is a family.  …

foster youth oakland body work tattoos

Foster Youth Tattoos – Marking Life

In the photograph, a young man in a white tank top sits atop a toilet tank. The photo pulled me in, its inscription stopped me still. “Russell is a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, a father to his daughter and son, a student at Cal Berkeley double majoring in Anthropology and South and Southeast Asian Studies. Collectively, Russell’s tattoos signify his search for permanency…” – from Tribute, an exhibit of the Foster Youth Museum running through Friday at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. Earlier this year, we covered the launch of the Foster Youth Museum and its inaugural exhibit, Lost Childhoods. Museum founder Jamie Lee Evans met me at Pro Arts Gallery to talk about Tribute: Foster Youth and Tattoos, its third exhibit. At first reluctant to bring in a non-foster youth to take portraits for Lost Childhoods, Jamie found herself won over by photographer Ray Bussolari’s approach. “He took time, he conducts interviews with the youth to really find out who they are…his photographs told the story so well.” The black and white photographs …

Youth Speaks, hip hop Oakland music festival life is living

How Life is Living with Youth Speaks

What does a community celebration look like? Through our lens, it embraces the arts and the outdoors, music and information about how to grow stronger together. This year’s Youth Speaks Life Is Living festival at DeFermery Park in Oakland shows us how a community can activate its youth, make and share art, build unexpected partners, showcase storytelling, and raise awareness about environment and health justice.  Did we mention, this is a party? Take a look:    

technology youth hack the hood coding kids

Hack the Hood’s Youth Coders

I got to know Susan Mernit’s technology bent when I shot occasional photos for Oakland Local’s urban planning stories. After wrapping short films for the online news site’s OakTech series, I began hearing about programs to help kids code. Susan and partners went on to found the lean startup Hack the Hood. The young initiative aims to train low-income youth of color in marketing and technology skills. Last summer, I filmed their graduation event at the Impact HUB in Oakland. Hackers had just completed a Boot Camp, building websites for small businesses in Oakland who could use the visibility. It was a party. Families, educators, techies, policymakers gathered together to learn and to cheer. Since then, Hack the Hood has expanded across campuses and cities from Oakland to Richmond, San Francisco and East Palo Alto. “We’re so thrilled to work with such amazing organizations who really know their community inside out the way we know Oakland. That is critically important for success,” said Zakiya Harris, Co-founder and Chief Education Officer of Hack the Hood. “Together …