In 2013 the Housing Matters Media Project partnered with the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth and Homelessness Initiative to produce a media art installation that explores issues relating to youth transitioning out of government care at age 19 and youth homelessness. Former youth in care currently comprise 40% of homeless youth in British Columbia.
A series of digital narratives were produced with former youth in care in a community engaged setting. In collaboration with the youth producers the artistic team from Housing Matters Media Project conceived and created a media art installation The 19th Birthday Party
The 19th Birthday Party situates the viewer at the table of a birthday party where each offering is a digital story produced by one of the youth involved in the project. The installation is intended to challenge the viewer to reflect on the realities of aging out of care at age 19 and to provoke an understanding in the greater public for the need extend the age of ‘aging out’ from age nineteen to twenty-three.
The 19th Birthday Party had been installed in numerous galleries, performance spaces, conferences and community spaces. The installation will go on tour to several communities across the lower mainland of BC in the fall of 2016.
The 19th Birthday Party installation was produced and created by Patti Fraser and Corin Browne and with assistance from Jamillah Toure, Sharon Bayly, Tory Boser, Todd Rose, Aly de la Cruz Yip.
The 19th Birthday Party digital stories were created by:
Empty Space(s)… Violet-Rose Pharoah and d. lee williams
Mise en Place… Tory Boser with assistance from Jamillah Toure
A Gift… Todd Rose and Chak Estable
The Birthday Cake… Kaya Noyes
How to Grow a Flower… Sabien Vanderwal and Corin Browne
Story and production mentorship by Corin Browne and Patti Fraser
Table built by Sharon Bayly
“Our vision is that every young person leaving foster care will have the opportunities and support needed for a successful transition to adulthood. We want doorways opened, not closed, to support youth aging out of foster care to pursue housing, employment, education, health, financial capability, social networks and permanent relationships”
The Fostering Change Report ~ the Vancouver Foundation Transitions Survey, October 2013