ArtPrize 2020 – Project 99

Why Project 99?

Foster Care: a temporary time period when a child is loved and cared for by people who are not the child’s parents.

Promotional video coming soon!

On average, foster parents have a 50% burnout rate. Agencies estimate that 70% of certified homes do not make it through their second year. Foster children need a consistent, loving environment and foster parents can provide that when they have the support they need.

  • As of 3/5/2020, there are 12,513 children in foster care in Michigan
    • There are 810 children in foster care in Kent County as of 3/5/2020
      • As of 1/30/2020, there are 440 licensed foster homes in Kent County

We asked foster parents in West Michigan for unique ways that they have felt supported by their community. Some of their answers were expected – babysitting, bringing meals, and transportation.

“It’s the little things that people did that made the most difference” Kurt, Foster Parent

Others of their answers were more surprising – smiling in the grocery store, giving a hug, or mailing a card. 

Our community can change the foster parent burnout rate by providing support – no matter our age or abilities. When foster parents thrive, foster children can too.

Check out the list of 99 ways you can support a foster parent, written by foster parents.

99 Ways to Get Involved in Foster Care!

ArtPrize Installation

In this collaborative performance based ArtPrize piece, we will show the value of the community’s support on a foster parent. Stay tuned for venue location details!

Meet the Artists

Alison Wabeke

I am an artist who believes art is a platform to tell a bigger story, challenge everyday thinking, and effect change. After fostering and adopting my nephew, my parents decided to open their arms to foster other children and I learned first-hand how valuable community supports are in foster care. I hope this project will shift communities’ perspective by connecting the average person with practical ways they can get involved with foster care without becoming foster parents.

Phalesha Kyes

I am a West Michigan native with strong ties to the foster care community. Not only do I work in the field, but I have lived experience navigating both foster care and adoption. I am honored to be able to create messaging around the success and needs in foster care through my employer, but even more honored to use the bigger platform of ArtPrize. My hope is this project will open the eyes and the hearts of those in our community to show how they can support people in their most vulnerable state. Success is driven by support, in any capacity; and everyone has something they can do, no matter how small.

Nathan Roels

I am a videographer who believes in telling powerful stories, inspiring others to action, and in serving God and others. I believe that we need community to thrive, and that we need to work on serving foster families better as a society to help them succeed. I hope that this project will encourage others to take action in finding ways to serve foster families.

Thomas Woltjer

I am a programmer/composer from Wilsonville Oregon, and my goal in my work is that my creativity will point to God, the ultimate Creator. Since my youth, I’ve had a passion for composing music, and have found a particular inclination towards large ensemble and chamber music. I believe that large and long-lasting change must be forged incrementally, and it is in this belief that I hope that every person to observe this project will be inspired to make a positive change in their lives, however small.  

ArtPrize- Project 99 Sponsors

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