Did you know that 1 in 45 kids in the US live on the street, in shelters or in motels? Inocente Izucar moved 30+ times in nine years as she was growing up, and she sometimes had to sleep outdoors when her family couldn't find a place to stay. Her father was deported to Mexico for domestic abuse, and her mother was distant, even suicidal. But Inocente? She wore bright red Converse and painted her face and kept dreaming. She's the subject of Inocente, a documentary that airs on MTV tomorrow night, 8/17, at 10pm EST (DVR alert!).
A program called ARTS: A Reason To Survive -- a nonprofit in San Diego that helps teenagers dealing with big life challenges (homelessness, domestic violence, etc.) learn about the arts -- was a refuge for Inocente. She gravitated toward creating paintings, and she was selected for the annual art show, for which she finished 30 pieces in three months. It was through this program the the filmmakers, who originally wanted to make a more general documentary about homelessness, found Inocente.
The film won some festival awards, and Inocente has spent time talking to other kids about the power of art and her personal journey. Now she's able to sell her work to support herself -- she had a show in New York City this month -- and she has a small apartment in the city. As for her art? “It still comes from the heart," she told The New York Times. "Every painting has a story.”
Watch the trailer, and get fully inspired, here.