It’s an art exhibit! It’s a movie premiere! It’s a community education extravaganza! Most importantly, it’s an annual event that helps to find forever families for children in foster care waiting to be adopted. And it’s all happening on Thursday, September 30th, 6:30 p.m., at the Renaissance Austin Hotel.
The 2010 Heart Gallery of Central Texas features professional portraits by more than 60 renowned documentary and portrait photographers of over 140 children awaiting adoption. The success of the Heart Gallery is due to the time and talent of these photographers, volunteering hundreds of hours to the project.
Every day, 700 Central Texas children are available and waiting for adoptive families. Each month, another 30 kids in foster care homes become eligible for adoption. But thanks to the nonprofit Adoption Coalition of Texas (ACT), adoptions are up 72 percent since the public-private partnership was formalized six years ago through a grant from the Austin Community Foundation.
ACT partners with private child placing agencies, including charter member Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and Child Protective Services (CPS). Finding forever families for forgotten children is their mission. In 2004, News 8 Austin began airing a weekly “Forever Families” segment, and ACT executive director, Tracy Eilers recruited additional media partners for “Wednesday’s Child” features throughout Central Texas.
The significant increase in adoptions is also due to ACT’s continued sponsorship of the Heart Gallery of Central Texas. A special event for this year’s Heart Gallery is the premiere of “Beyond the Lens, a Short Film.” The film brings the Heart Gallery photographs to life.
Tickets can be ordered online.