Supporting our youth: from art to housing

Alma Mater hosted the Arlington Youth Art Exhibit, each piece has been purchased to be hung at a youth home, the Arlington Apartments.

In an effort to support our youth, Alma Mater partnered with the Tacoma Housing Authority to host the “Arlington Youth Art Exhibit.” This showcase exhibited pieces from young artists under the age of 24 with their youngest applicant being 11-years-old. Each submission was judged before a community panel based on the piece’s message, impact, medium and skill. 

The exhibit ended on the 21, viewings were limited to five guests at a time by scheduling a 30-minute time slot online. Those who visited could find a range of different art mediums on display including digital, traditional, photography and mixed media art pieces. Multiple artists expressed their enthusiasm towards the exhibit.

“It’s important to celebrate your growth. As well as celebrate the growth of others! By showing your body of art you can show that it’s okay to be proud of who you are and the positive qualities and works of art you can bring into the world,” said Shania Smith, one of the artists featured in the exhibit. “You may find that there are others like you that you can bond with. Make you feel closer to a community you can call home.”

After the showcase ended, the art was purchased and prepared to be displayed at Tacoma Housing Authority’s youth home, The Arlington Apartments. This new building is set to open on E. 38th and Portland Ave. It will contain 58 units to provide homes for homeless youth from ages 18 to 24. Amenities at the complex will also include a community garden and health clinic among many other support resources. 

The goal of this event was to create a circle of support to strengthen the Tacoma community, to show there are always new innovative ways to care for each other.

Smith also expressed their desire to help others feel included and empowered.

“From my understanding the presence of art in the Arlington Apartments is to help youths feel comfortable. Comfortable in a place where you see something hung up on the wall. And maybe you can relate to the illustrations and it brings you peace,” Smith continued. “I feel that is another way to make a place feel a little more familiar.”

To the residents of Arlington Apartments, welcome home.

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