Youth Agencies Alliance uses art to get 140 young Winnipeggers thinking about their futures.

The question youth hear from adults all the time is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Why don’t we ever ask, “Who do you want to be?”

This year’s Youth Agencies Alliance Annual Art Show, called “When I Grow Up,” posed exactly that question. Through an innovative series of art workshops, Winnipeg youth discovered who they want to become; the types of characteristics they want to embody and how they will demonstrate those characteristics.

They thought about who they look up to, and what kind of city we would have if everyone tried to be their best.

YAA hosted a high-energy gallery opening at Graffiti Gallery to open the show, made possible in part by donations to United Way.

Kids from all over the city came to see their artwork up on the walls of a respected gallery, filling them with a sense of accomplishment and possibility.

Youth Agency Alliance art show.

A young person who attends the West Central Community Program plans to be the kind of person who gives blood when he grows up.

A young person who attends the West Central Community Program plans to be the kind of person who gives blood when he grows up.

Melanie Wight, Minister of Children & Youth Opportunities, was excited by the positive vision the artists had for Winnipeg’s future.

“I saw many pieces that said ‘respectful, generous, kind…’. I can’t tell you how important kindness is in this world.

It just makes me happy to see so many dreams, on the wall & living in people’s hearts.

I look forward to a future with people like you in it, working to make the world a better place.”

Youth Agency Alliance art show.

Select works from “When I Grow Up” will be shown in the Manitoba Legislature’s Keystone Gallery this fall.

The excited voices and smiles of the artists show how much it matters to encourage young talent, introspection, and a bigger view of our place in our communities.

This young person plans to help his fellow Winnipeggers when he grows up.

This young person plans to help his fellow Winnipeggers when he grows up.

YAA's annual art show.

This young person who attends Spence Neighbourhood Association programs says “I want to be a teacher because teachers have a big effect on the kids, and the kids have an effect on our future.”

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