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Homeless youth in Vancouver and Seattle – An Art Exhibition by Doctoral Candidate

June 30, 2013

Woelfer 2013Jill Woelfer, doctoral candidate at the Information School and 2011-12 Fulbright Fellow, is focusing her research on homeless youth in Canada and the United States. The Music is My Life exhibition is part of her study.

Music is My Life is an art show of drawings and stories by 129 homeless young people, aged 15-25. The drawings and stories were created as part of Jill Woelfer’s PhD dissertation research. Homeless young people in Seattle and Vancouver were asked to imagine a music device that could help someone experiencing homelessness and then draw a picture of the device and write a story about a situation where the device would be used. The goal of Music is My Life is to bring the voices of homeless young people to the community in order to increase understanding and spark further discussions.

The Music is My Life show will be on display at Molly’s Café at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington from May 30 to August 29, 2013. The show consists of 8 panels with reproductions of 18 drawings and stories and a website where all 129 drawings and stories can be viewed see Link no longer available.

The Music is My Life show was prepared by a community-based team and includes: homeless young people, staff from agencies that provide services to homeless young people, University of Washington students, alumni, staff and faculty, business leaders in the University District, and other neighbors. The team is led by Jill Palzkill Woelfer, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School and 2011-2012 Fulbright Fellow to Canada. Find out more about her research with homeless young people at: ( Link no longer available.

To see more photos and learn more about the Music is My Life show, please visit

The Canadian Studies Center has a Professional Development Program for Graduate Students enabling any U.W. student from across campus to join the Center as an Affiliated Graduate Student. Affiliated Graduate Students are provided with mentorship and opportunities on cross-border studies.