The traveling museum-quality exhibit features portraits of children in the county’s foster care system who are available for adoption.
About half of the 155 children who have been featured in the exhibit in the past three years have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted, the Children’s Trust said in a statement.
According to the state, 800 children in Florida are available for adoption. The children have been taken from their biological parents for reasons of neglect or abuse with no possibility of family reunification.
A couple who adopted a child from the exhibit will speak publicly about the experience and others will join them with their newly adopted children to receive their children’s portraits to take home.
“This is always an emotional event,” Modesto E. Abety, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust, said in the statement. “Not only are the portraits stunning but, after these families come up and share their stories, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.”
The Trust said it is expecting more than 400 people at the event, including many of the 19 children featured in the exhibit, as well as several of the award-winning photographers who donated their time and talent for the project.
The initiative is a partnership between The Children’s Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc., the local lead agency for child welfare in Miami and the Keys.
The Children’s Trust is funded by a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.
Its Miami Heart Gallery is complemented by a comprehensive website that highlights the portraits and a video of each child featured, as well as a video production of the exhibit.
The exhibit will open with a reception that will have a Mediterranean flare to accentuate the locations in Coral Gables that served as backdrops for the photo shoots, including the iconic Biltmore Hotel.
The gallery will be open to the public at the Coral Gables Museum from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, June 13 to July 29, and will then move to different venues throughout Miami-Dade.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Opening reception for The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery
WHEN: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Friday, June 10
WHERE: The Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables.
PARKING: The Museum Garage,
250 Aragon Ave.
CONTACT: For more information about adoption, call The Children’s Trust Helpline at 211 or visit www.miamiheartgallery.org.