Voices of the Children in Mount Vernon


Self Reflection in Words and Art

Vibrant self-portraits gaze out on First Street, their pop-art-like faces accented by poems scrawled across the art.

The poems, written by youths in English and Arabic, tell the stories of their authors.

The art is the culmination of a months-long project organized by Voices of the Children, a Mount Vernon-based nonprofit that works to elevate youth narratives through art.

Since October, the project — in collaboration with the Skagit River Poetry Foundation and the Museum of Northwest Art — has reached more than 500 youths on two continents.

Self-reflection poems and self-portraits created with either oil pastels or acrylic paint are the backbone of the project.

After working with youths in Skagit County, a Voices of the Children team flew to Jordan in March to repeat the project with Syrian and Jordanian youths affected by war.