BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center has received a $5,000 grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust to support exhibits and events focusing on homelessness in the Brattleboro area, the museum announced in a news release.
From March to June 2020, "Steven Kinder: 552,830" will be on display in the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Gallery, according to the release. The exhibit will feature "larger-than-life" portraits of people experiencing homelessness in New York City, it says, as well as the artist's sketchbooks, working photographs and items people in the portraits gave or sold to him.
The number in the title — 552,830 — refers to the number of people who experienced homelessness in the U.S. in 2018.
The second exhibit, "Coffee and Conversations: Stories of Homelessness," will feature photographs, video and written narratives in the museum's Ticket Gallery in an updated version of a 2015 project by the Brattleboro-based Groundworks Collaborative. The project brought together Brattleboro residents experiencing homelessness with those who have stable housing, the release notes.
"We're very supportive of partnering with BMAC on this exhibition as it shows people as people, in a beautiful way," said Groundworks Collaborative Executive Director Joshua Davis in the release. "All too often, people who experience homelessness are overlooked — or worse, looked down upon. This exhibition seeks to highlight people and their stories with dignity."
The museum is also partnering with Youth Services, Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and the Town of Brattleboro to mount this project.
"Over the past four years, BMAC has found that one of the ways we can be of greatest value to our community is by presenting artwork that serves as a platform for the exploration of important social issues,” Brattleboro Museum of Art and Culture Director Danny Lichtenfeld said in the release. "Projects like these deepen BMAC’s connections within our community, and they allow us to serve as a center of discussion and creative solution-making."