The purpose of monca’s program, “Breaking the Cycle of Youth Homelessness”, is to coordinate art-related experiences for homeless youth and their families that will help build confidence, dissuade negative behavior and culminate in being a positive influence for the city. People who are engaged with their environment respect the community and the resources that make living here important to their lives. The program will feature weekly workshops in the museum presenting guest artists, writers and performers, as well as give participants the opportunity to create a culminating exhibition open to the public at monca. “Breaking the Cycle of Youth Homelessness” introduces homeless youth and families to the museum environment while actively participating in art, writing and performance projects led by teachers, docents, and artists as positive-role models. By participating in this experience, they will not only grow as individuals, but also members of the community, and in turn the community will deepen its understanding of youth homelessness.
monca fulfills a unique role in the city by making art accessible and promoting awareness of Northern California artists through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs. We have reached over 60,000 people through pop-up spaces, events, and in-school programs; with the recent opening of a permanent space in the historic Veterans Memorial Hall, these numbers will only grow. Our successes to-date are the result of strong support from individuals and other organizations. We have previously partnered with over 750 youth through our Educational Outreach Programs in schools, worked with homeless through the creation of our pop-up museums and have engaged thousands in the community through events and openings. We are working towards partnerships with local groups who work with homeless, underserved and youth populations in order to make “Breaking the Cycle of Youth Homelessness” a meaningful program for all, including: Chapman School, Sixth Street Center for Youth, Torres Community, Work Training Center, The Chico Inklings, and BCAC-TV. Chico’s successes are going to come from working together to begin solving the homeless problem and this project will be a step in the right direction. As this city’s next generation, it is necessary to make youth an equal part of the public conversations by letting them express themselves through art.