“Most of all, we want to thank this young lady, she was homeless just a year ago, and now she’s standing in front of all of you, and she’s an artist…” Sean Fine’s voice echoed through a celebrity filled Hollywood auditorium, and across the living rooms of 40 million people.
Inocente Izucar, a fifteen-year-old girl without a home, living on the streets of San Diego, walked into a non-profit establishment in National City with her face painted, wearing a rainbow tutu. 4 years later, she’s onstage holding an Oscar for Best Documentary.
Sean and Andrea Nix Fine chose Inocente for their film, based on a recommendation from Matt D’Arrigo, founder of ARTS , A Reason To Survive, a non profit organization that provides arts education, and college and career planning to build clear roads to success for youth facing harsh conditions. The Fines began to document Inocente’s tumultuous struggle as an aspiring artist, growing up homeless in San Diego. After her father’s deportation for domestic violence, she was back and forth between homeless shelters and different schools, all the while being true to her passion and expressing herself threw her colorful brush and hand paintings.
Inocente attended the ARTS program at first on a weekly basis, eventually resorting to public transit to attend every day. She says the center was like a kind of home, where she could be herself.
“ARTS: A Reason To Survive “ is located in National City, and hosts about 4,000 children each year. Donations to ARTS can be made here: http://www.areasontosurvive.org/
As for Inocente, her family has finally received legal status, and she launched her art site this week, with work available to purchase here: http://inocente.myshopify.com/ She also has been sponsored by the National Arts Club for an art show in New York.