Youth Homelessness to Hope Singing Trees
The Youth Homelessness to Hope Singing Tree traveling murals were spearheaded by the AHO Youth Team comprised of previously homeless youth served by Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO) Marin’s only nonprofit providing support for 18 to 25 year old teens and young adults without families and resources. The mural answers the driving question “What kind of world do you want to live in?” and includes themes of social justice, the environment, health and well-being and peace.
The goals of the mural include: 1) bringing youth together from all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to work together 2) educating the community about youth issues, and 3) sharing youth’s vision and positive messages to the challenges they face. This project employed 15 formerly homeless youth for 3 months as artists and event planners.
Each 8’x 8’ panel portrays the same oak tree in a different season. The endangered oak tree is a metaphor for the endangered youth. The youth engaged (30 schools & 1,200 youth) in the greater community, from all walks of life, to generate images for the leaves of the trees.
Since its completion in August 2013, the murals have been exhibited widely throughout Marin and the greater Bay Area where receptions are held and youth share their stories. Some exhibit locations include the Thoreau Center for Sustainability in San Francisco, Marin High Schools, Bioneers Conference, Marin County Fair, Westamerica Banks, St. Luke & First Presbyterian Churches of San Rafael, ArtWorks Downtown, Wellness Center Youth’s Social Justice Symposium, UC Berkeley and Marin MOCA Museum.