The Heart Gallery portraits presented June 1. | MICHAEL SHIREY
BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Heart Gallery NYC, an innovative initiative that harnesses the power of photography to help connect young people 24 and younger who lack permanent homes with “forever families,” hosted its second Pride event on June 1 at the New Victory Theater in Times Square.
Heart Gallery NYC founder Laurie Sherman Graff. | MICHAEL SHIREY
The event showcases photographs of a dozen LGBTQ youth taken by volunteer celebrity photographers, including Antoine Verglas, Deborah Feingold, and Heidi Gutman.
Laurie Sherman Graff, who founded Heart Gallery NYC in 2006, spoke proudly of the fact that her effort, one of nearly a hundred nationwide, was the first to mount an exhibition, last June, focused exclusively on LGBTQ youth.
“This exhibition is about honoring the nearly 12,000 New York City children living in foster care and the hundreds waiting and ready to be adopted,” she said, as she lauded her effort’s partnership with the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.”
Rhodes Perry, the director of that office, noted the importance of such exhibits in forging “connections” among LGBTQ youth in need of permanent families, prospective parents, and the social service agencies that work with them. “These connections will empower more LGBTQ young people to thrive into healthy, happy, and independent adults.”
Rhodes Perry, director of the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. | MICHAEL SHIREY