What started as a "what if" question has grown into one of the most innovative social justice art programs across Chicago. What if we traveled into homeless youth sites and brought art workshops into centers serving youth in homelessness? What if, while they wait for their next appointment, they engage to create through colors, poems and more? This was the question that started Called to Create in 2011; With the first site being housed in Bronzeville now has reached into drop-in centers, transitional spaces and shelters across the city of Chicago.
From art workshops to exhibits, Called to Create has raised conversation about youth homelessness, social justice, juvenile system, housing needs, trafficking and more. From coffee shops to nationally recognized museums, these art pieces have been created by youth as young as 8 years old.
"Our story is simple; we recognize what works and focus on filling the gaps in spaces that are often overlooked. Our vehicle is art, but our platform is much greater. We seek partnerships that provide resources to youth we work with and shelters we partner with. To date we've been able to open a children's library in an East LA Domestic Violence center, receive support from national corporations such as AHF, Wintrust Bank and AT&T, build partnership with Timberland for commissioned work and donations and have been fortunate enough to receive 4,000 winter items and hygiene products since 2011 through community support and donations." says Mireya Fouche, Founder.
One Heart One Soul is the traveling art program providing direct services to youth in seasons of homelessness via literary and visual works for the purpose of expression, communication and healing as a way to combat discrimination and eliminate society’s misconceptions about homelessness. Through this work, together with youth, they invite communities into the real life journey on the variations of homelessness. To date, over 600 art pieces have been created by youth in seasons of homelessness sharing a glimpse into their journey of darkness, light, hope, fear and more.
Welcome to the journey.