PROJECT: Imagine a project that empowers people experiencing houselessnes to create art, but to raise funds for their peers in need of housing. Gather:Make:Shelter is a citywide creative collaboration shepherded by artist Dana Lynn Louis, connecting people experiencing houselessness and poverty with potters and painters, to not only teach skills but raise money for getting people into housing. We were invited to become a part of this community effort by producing a documentary showing the unique aspects of this project.
APPROACH:We took Dana’s mantra “Through our shared humanity, and creative endeavors, we’ll find each other in new ways” to heart. We worked to create an atmosphere of trust and connection with our interviewees, who were often members of the houseless population For this video we were challenged to take a complex and far reaching issue and create a meaningful piece showing not only the many facets of how this project was structured, but highlighting the people and the transformative nature of their experience in the project. RESULTS: This piece helped show how this model of engagement and fundraising works, and why it’s so important to be deeply involved with the communities you are helping.. It is hoped that projects modeled on Gather:Make:Shelter can be started in other cities, and this video was the proof of concept to explain not only how it works but why it’s so fundamentally important that it does work.