Bringing Attention to Homelessness

The plight of the homeless is being explored on November 18 in A Place Called Home at Mathewson Street Church in Providence.

The interactive performance was created by Frank V. Toti, Jr. and Steven Pennell, the coordinator of the Urban Arts and Culture program at the URI Providence campus.

A Place Called Home is also a fundraiser helping to raise awareness about the years of service provided at Mathewson Street Church/134 Collaborative along with the PICA mealsite and other services offered to the homeless and needy at that downcity Providence location.

The Empty Bowl Supper includes a drink, soup, bread and dessert in the hall where the meal site serves those in need every week. The Empty Bowl Supper has a suggested donation of $25 ($35 with parking in the lot next door) – and the handcrafted bowl is for attendees to keep as a lasting memory of the experience. The bowls have been crafted by Craig Bachman and RIC ceramics students as a way of supporting the effort. There will be a silent auction, and larger donations will be accepted to support the meal site, services, activities as well as the maintenance of the facility.

Pennell said A Place Called Home will showcase “voices which have been lost or silenced.”

Homelessness continues to be a problem, Pennell said, adding the performance will “put a human face on the issue.”

The project is the result of a series of workshops and oral history interviews conducted locally over the last few years with people who are homeless, have been homeless, or work with the homeless. Many hours of stories have been curated and refined, to find the right mix and tempo to present to an audience. This will be the first performance of the material, as actors share these true stories of individuals’ opes and dreams, and the realities of being homeless and hungry.

The cast includes Bradford Greer, Sandra Lee, Jo-an Peralta, Michele Bourget and Sylvia Ann Soares.

The project was created in partnership with the ARTREACH Program at Mathewson Street Church/134 Collaborative, including guests of the PICA Community Meal Site. The performance is produced and funded by URI Providence Campus Arts and Culture Program.

The Empty Bowl Supper to benefit 134 Collaborative’s programs suggested donation – $25 ($35 with parking in the lot next door)

Along with the show, participants get soup, a bread, dessert and a handmade, one-of-a-kind bowl. For more info call 401 331-1069.

 

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