Depaul USA screens “Homeless Has a Name” and learns of the impact on the film makers – The head of Depaul USA writes… Last night, I had the great pleasure of acting as the Master of Ceremony for “Homeless Has a Name,” Depaul USA’s film festival dedicated to the issue of homelessness. We screened eight short films (out of 19 submitted) and awarded three prizes. After the awards ceremony, a diverse panel that included academics, government officials, and service users reacted to the films and answered questions from the more than 200 people that packed the theater at the Painted Bride in Old City. You can read more about “Homeless Has a Name” in this newsletter.

For me, the key moment of the evening came when Nikki Heyman, the director of Living Room, a prize-winning film about three homeless families in Northeast Ohio, stated that making the film changed her. As a student at Oberlin College, she was unaware that there were so many homeless families. Making LivingRoom as her senior thesis, she explained, introduced her to a new and difficult world.

At Depaul USA, we try to use the arts to educate an ever larger number of people about the issues of homelessness. We believe that the arts also create an opportunity for those who often lack a voice, to find one. Last night’s films with their unique stories of families and individuals who experienced homelessness did just that.

We are always looking for ideas for arts programming. If you have an idea you would like to share, please contact me. Your idea could help expand our world.

Thanks for supporting Depaul USA.

Chuck Levesque

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