The evidence linking poverty with ill health is unequivocal. Children, who experience poverty, particularly during early life or for an extended period, are at risk of adverse health and developmental outcomes through their life course.Inadequate housing and exposure to environmental pollutants, homelessness, food insecurity, malnutrition and loss of Health Care are affecting their physical health in a myriad of ways. It can lead to children missing out on decent meals, sleeping in cold bedrooms, constantly worry and missing school, all drastically reducing their future life chances. Children living in poverty are more likely to feel like a failure, and have a sense of hopeless about their future. The lack of safety in many neighborhoods and houses significantly puts children at greater risk of physical and sexual abuse, injury and death from accidents.
But the most striking finding is how the stress created by poverty has a life-long impact on children’s physical and mental health. Stress is a body’s reaction to potentially life-threatening situations that occur within and outside the body. It can be helpful and has been hard-wired into our human physiology for survival. The body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response results in adrenaline and cortisol being pumped into your blood stream to help you fight harder and run faster. When a child experiences stress day after day, the stress goes from life saving to life damaging, and becomes “toxic stress”.
It occurs when a child experiences strong and frequent adversities as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship. This prolonged stress has the potential to disrupt the development of a child’s brain and other organs, and increases the risk for chronic diseases and cognitive impairment, well into the adulthood.
We are very pleased to announce that the Cleveland Playhouse will produce the performance and that Lisa Langford will write the play. Lisa Langford is a well known playwright, she is associated as artistic collaborator with Black Lives Black Words and seeks an artistic response to current social issues. Pamela DiPasquale from the Cleveland Playhouse and Linda Jackson from the MetroHealth Hospital will introduce her to families and children and provide social and medical background.
We are in contact with the School of FIlm & Media Arts to prepare a documentary. An update comes as soon as we have more information.
We are in contact with LAND and MOCA to prepare a scenic art exhibition. An update comes as soon as we have more information.
As of May 2021 Courtney Hutchinson and others are working on the 10CHILDRENdocuments Cleveland. They collect a variety of material to serve as inspiration and guidance for the different artists working on 10CHILDREN.
The aim of this material is to get a good first insight into the life and situation of the children from different perspectives. Let's call it a suitcase that everyone can use. A suitcase full of concrete stories of children and parents,historical and social background, social position and obstacles, facts and figures, expert opinions, possible key figures and institutions, documentaries, films, literature, photography.