An Art Exhibit by Homeless Youth Displays Their Love of Music, Their Creativity and Their Humanity

The entrance sign for the Music Is My Life exhibition.
A sign greets visitors to the Music Is My Life exhibition at Molly’s Café at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. "The goal of the exhibit is to bring these drawings and stories to the public in order to create a locus for community discourse and action," says Jill Palzkill Woelfer, the exhibit's organizer.

Throughout 2012, dozens of young people entered YouthCare in Seattle and Covenant House Vancouver and started drawing. They'd been asked to design fictional music devices that could help homeless youth, and came up with an array of invented instruments that express their experiences of homelessness.

More than 120 of those drawings have been collected as Music Is My Life, an exhibit currently traveling through galleries in the Seattle area. The branchild of Jill Palzkill Woelfer, a youth worker and doctoral student of information studies, the exhibit is “an investigation of the role of music in the lives of homeless young people.”

Here, Woelfer shares some of the drawings from Music Is My Life, as well as pictures from the exhibitions. See all 129 drawings, with accompanying stories, at the Music Is My Life website, or follow the exhibit's tour on Facebook.

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