December, 2008The Adoption Coalition of Central Texas (ACT) and the Austin Children’s Museum (ACM) have teamed up for a special opening day of activities that will kick off a unique photo exhibit, The Heart Gallery of Central Texas, which features foster children from the Central Texas area who are waiting for adoption. From December 6 through January 2, the Heart Gallery photo exhibit will be featured in the Community Gallery at the Austin Children’s Museum. Special activities for children and their families have been planned for the Heart Gallery’s opening day on December 6th from 10 am - 3 pm. For those families looking to adopt, this event will also provide a special opportunity for individuals to learn more about children in the foster care system and the adoption process.
ACT is the umbrella organization of The Heart Gallery of Central Texas and focuses on finding forever families for the hundreds of Central Texas children who are currently in foster care awaiting adoption. The Heart Gallery is actually a traveling photo exhibit made possible by over 59 Central Texas documentary and portrait photographers who volunteered their time and talents to capture the characteristics and individual personalities of more than 126 children (in 100 portraits) waiting for adoption. The photo exhibit travels around Central Texas for eight months.
Heart Gallery Opening Celebration at Austin Children’s Museum
Saturday Dec. 6, 10 AM – 3 PM
· Ribbon cutting (11am)
· Face painting
· Children featured in the exhibit will be in attendance
· Volunteers from the Adoption Coalition of Texas
This is the third time the Heart Gallery has been displayed at Austin Children’s Museum. Since its inception four years ago, the overall Heart Gallery program has a 60% success rate for permanent adoptions of children in the portraits. For more information on the Heart Gallery of Central Texas traveling exhibit, visit www.heartgallerytexas.com.
For more information on the Austin Children’s Museum visit www.austinkids.org or call 472-2499. Admission for Adults & Children 2 yrs.and up: $6.50; Children 12-23 months: $4.50; children under 12 mos. are free. Museum hours: T-Sat, 10am-5pm; W, 5pm-8pm $1 donation; Sun, noon-5pm (4-5pm free on Sundays).
There are an estimated 513,000 children in foster care in the United States, and more than 150,000 of them are waiting to be adopted. In Central Texas alone, there is a daily average of 3,700 children in foster care with approximately 500 waiting for adoption into a permanent home. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child remains in foster care has lengthened to nearly three years. Each year, approximately 20,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children; Interim Estimates for FY 2003.
About the Adoption Coalition of Texas:
The Adoption Coalition of Texas (ACT) is a coalition of Child Protective Services and nonprofit child placing agencies whose mission is to find families for children languishing in the foster care system. This is accomplished through community awareness and education about kids in foster care, recruitment of families, and systemic change with the goal of ultimately increasing the number of kids who get adopted. The Adoption Coalition of Texas partner agencies include: The Arrow Project, Homes4Good, Lutheran Social Services of the South, Marywood Children Family Services, Pathways Youth and Family Services, and Child Protective Services. The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is one of its several recruitment projects. These children are living in foster care, many for extended periods, and are waiting for a permanent family – a life of stability and love. If you would like more information on the Adoption Coalition of Texas, The Heart Gallery of Central Texas, or to find out ways to help, visit www.adoptioncoalitiontx.org, www.heartgallerytexas.com , or call Dr. Tracy Eilers at 512-301-2825. The Adoption Coalition of Texas operates as a special 501(c)3 project of the Austin Community Foundation.
About Austin Children’s Museum
The mission of Austin Children's Museum is to create innovative learning experiences for children and families that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. Located at the Dell Discovery Center downtown at the corner of 2nd Street and Colorado, the Austin Children's Museum is one of the city’s popular cultural attractions with 200,000 visitors annually. The Austin Children's Museum is a non-profit 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.