This New West art show aims to change the conversation on poverty, homelessness

Artists are called to submit now for Changing the Conversation: Reflective Empathy and Public Discourse on Social Housing, coming to Douglas College in the new year

 The Arts Council of New Westminster wants to help change the conversation about social housing through art.

Literary and visual artists are being invited to submit poetry, creative non-fiction and photography for a new exhibition, Changing the Conversation: Reflective Empathy and Public Discourse on Social Housing.

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Submissions are open now and will be received up to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

A write-up from the arts council notes that public opposition to social housing is often accompanied by stigmatizing stories about those impacted by poverty and homelessness.

“The goal of this project is to use the arts to have a better public conversation about these issues by seeing more deeply into the world of those without secure housing in New Westminster and the broader Metro Vancouver area,” it says.

The exhibition is seeking works that invite the audience to think more deeply and to develop more empathy for those with lived experience of poverty, homelessness and substance use.

The arts council is working to recognize diversity, break down exclusionary barriers and create a platform for marginalized voices, so artists with lived experience of homelessness, poverty and substance use are encouraged to submit. LGBTQ artists, non-binary artists, artists of colour, Indigenous artists and disabled artists are also encouraged to submit.

Each category (poetry, creative non-fiction and photography) will offer prizes of $750, $500 and $250 for the top three winners.

Literary works will be featured at a public event on March 27 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre at Douglas College, and photographic works will be displayed in the Amelia Douglas Gallery from March 27 to April 20.

For full details, see under News, or call 604-525-3244.


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