Picture1The Arts & Culture Committee‘s workshop asked participants to imagine what their community might look and feel like if the arts were fully integrated into the fabric of their community. The activities focused on homelessness to underscore the Keynote focus of the Plenary session.

A mock ‘tent city’ was created to give visual impact to the plight of homelessness and the participants workshop was set up adjacent to the tents with round tables, chairs, a small stage, microphones, sound system and a few art displays. DFA_3854Attendees were invited to sit at the tables and were given art supplies to record their vision of dealing with homelessness in words and/or images. During the workshop, there was a Keynote presentation, poetry and a song composed specially for the event.   At the end of the artistic expression segment, participants were invited to share their thoughts.  Approximately 10 participants shared went on stage and spoke, one even bursting into a rendition of the song, God Bless America.

Picture4The representative voices shared experiences of homelessness, of triumph, of hope, of perseverance and of gratitude.  Throughout the event attendees were engaged and participated in all aspects of the workshop.

Rather than talking at attendees, this workshop activated the collective imagination and allowed  artistic expressions to document the community’s vision of a addressing the issue of homelessness with the arts as one agent of change.

For more 24th Annual Empowerment Congress Summit photos and workshop recaps, please click here.