BRATTLEBORO — Over the past five years, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) has regularly presented artwork that serves as a platform for the exploration of social issues, including LGBTQ equality, addiction and recovery, and attitudes toward firearms.
This fall, in conjunction with two exhibits focused on homelessness, BMAC will present a series of events exploring that issue from national and local perspectives.
Initially planned to take place in person and subsequently postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, these three free events will now take place online. Attendees will be invited to make a donation to Groundworks Collaborative.
The series begins on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. with “In Sight: What the Unseen Are Holding for Society,” a talk by Brattleboro Retreat therapist Kurt White.
According to a news release, White will discuss why we tend to avert our eyes when we walk past someone living on the street. He will address how this situation came to be at a systemic level, and, for those who are not living on the street, what it is that we unconsciously project onto this group of people.
“What does it mean to 'turn toward,' really?” White asks. “It's an interesting phrase that comes up in different spiritual traditions, and I think it has to do with recognizing the non-differences between people, as well as what perpetuates our wish to divide things up, especially unconsciously and structurally.”
The series will continue with “Homelessness: The Big Picture,” a Sept. 23 talk by University of Pennsylvania Professor Dennis Culhane, a nationally recognized expert in the field of homelessness research.
It concludes with “No Place Like Home: Housing in Windham County,” an Oct. 7 panel presentation featuring Josh Davis of Groundworks Collaborative, Elizabeth Bridgewater of Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Adam Grinold of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Bill Murray of Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors, and Dan Yates of Brattleboro Savings & Loan.
Exhibits explore homelessness
Two homelessness-related exhibits are on view at BMAC through Oct. 12.
Taking its name from the number of people who were unsheltered in the United States in 2018, “Steven Kinder: 552,830” features portraits of people experiencing homelessness.
Katherine Gass Stowe, the exhibit's curator, described the exhibit as an “important contribution” to the national conversation about homelessness, “particularly in a town like Brattleboro, Vt., which, like many communities throughout the United States, is struggling with issues around housing insecurity.”
On view in the museum's Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Gallery, this exhibit is presented in partnership with Groundworks Collaborative and is supported in part by a grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust.
In BMAC's Ticket Gallery, “Coffee & Conversation: Stories of Homelessness,” created by Brattleboro photographer Liz LaVorgna in collaboration with filmmaker Wyatt Andrews, features photographs and video of conversations between people who have stable housing and people who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness.
Details on the talks and exhibits can be found at brattleboromuseum.org.