Since 2012, The Arts Center has teamed with Oregon Youth Authority and local professional artists to bring art and expression into Oak Creek for youth.

These young artists tell their own stories through poetry, authored with the support of local poet Marilyn Johnston. At times harrowing and heartbreaking, luminous and cautiously hopeful, the original poetry collected here are the once silent stories of young people given voice and words. 

The youth also capture images of their lives with the guidance of photographer Barry Shapiro. With these images, they have chosen for themselves what will represent them and have reclaimed how their stories are seen by others.


We are proud to present a selection of images and audio recordings of the participant youth in the 2019 winter workshop:

December 2019

Our thanks to the following who have provided support for this program in the past year:

  • In Memory of Art & Maureen Ovregaard | James Ovregaard
  • Mullins Healthy Children’s Fund
  • Anonymous $5000 Match Gift Donors
  • Starker Forests
  • William D Metz, Austin, TX
  • Kathy Brewer
  • Laura Berman and Lee Kitzman
  • Linda and Earl Hadfield
  • Anthony and Doug Gordon
  • Linda Modrell & Keith McCreight
  • Carolyn Madsen
  • Dr. Cindy Smith and Aaron Spitzer
  • Jim and Joyce Spain
  • Mary and Russell Youmans
  • Camille Hall and Jim Rouff
  • Adriana Huyer and Robert Smith
  • Susan and Curtis Johnson
  • Willamette Ceramics Guild
  • Mary’s River Quilt Guild
  • Warren L. and Lorraine L. Passmore Charitable Fund