YES shows at February First Friday Art Crawl
Photo: Cliff Skarstedt
“A huge part of ending youth homelessness is ensuring young people are not isolated, and that they have a sense of social inclusion somewhere in their life”, says YES Executive Director Meagan Hennekam.
Once each month for the last year, The YES Shelter for Youth and Families has been hosting an art drop-in to offer youth an opportunity to connect with each other, YES staff, and local artists.
The first weekend in February, we showed some of the work we created at the drop in at Atelier Ludmila Gallery on Hunter Street as a part of the First Friday Art Crawl. The show was called, “Fingerprints: The Marks We Make.” The many visitors had a chance to take a look at what we’d made, get creative with young artists, chat with artist mentors, and with YES staff. It offered a little window into the beautiful community that has been created through this art-drop in, and was a great success.
“What we’ve learned from this process is that there’s no better way of building community than making art together”, says volunteer facilitator, John Marris.
The initial intention was to host a monthly drop in, where YES’ Youth Outreach Worker could connect with young people with the help of free dinner and a fun activity. It quickly turned into so much more when volunteers John Marris and Brian Nichols offered to facilitate an art workshop.
Since then, youth have had an opportunity to come and practice making art with each other and artist volunteers from around the community. It gives young people a chance to try something new, build some skill, and encourages them to carve out regular time for a creative practice.
“I find it a lot of fun, and it takes my mind off the things going on in my life”, said one Peterborough young person about the drop-in. Another shared that “making art gets me through my week.”