Art From the Streets, a non-profit that provides a free art studio for Austin’s homeless citizens, will host their 25th Annual Homeless Art Show and Sell on Dec. 2-3rd at the Austin Convention Center from 11am - 5pm.
For the past 25 years, Art From the Streets has offered a safe space for homeless people to express their creativity and grow through painting and drawing within a supportive community.
“We’re very excited to have this 25th anniversary show. We have 2,000 pieces of new artwork, thousands of pieces of artwork that we stored for the artists over a period of time, and we have about 35 artists that will have booths that are participating. But over 150 artists have worked in our program over this year,” executive director of Art From the Streets, Kelley Worden, said.
(Executive Director, Kelley Worden)
This non-profit has grown immensely over the past 25 years from 70 pieces of artwork to the now thousands that are expected at this upcoming show. The program started off with a few founders hosting in a small room at The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless or ARCH for short.
“One of our founders got together with some friends and decided that they wanted to go to The ARCH and maybe create a sandwich, some lunch maybe - just find something interactive to do with people that are living on the streets. One day they brought in pencils and paper and just wanted to do some interactions versus just sitting around and doing nothing all day and they came up with these amazing pieces of artwork,” Worden said.
(Open studio time)
The art studio is now hosted within the Trinity Center, a resource for the homeless population provided by St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin. Up until five years ago the Annual Show and Sell art show was also held within St. David’s but has since moved to the Austin Convention Center to allow room for growth.
“So about five years ago we became a 501 (c)(3). So twenty years of just friends of friends of friends making it happen and completely volunteer run. Ten years ago we started receiving funds from the city through the Cultural Arts Division which we still do. A lot of our funding comes from them,” Worden said.
While the building Art From the Streets is hosted in, the size of the program and the location of the art shows have changed, the overall goal has not.
“Success in our world is way different than success with a homeless person or someone who is at risk. Their successes are completely different than what our world perceives as success. You know, are you the CEO of something? Are you the executive director of something? Are you making millions of dollars? Are you donating millions of dollars? Success could be a day to day kind of thing. I successfully made it to art class this week,” Worden said.
(Donations to Art From the Streets)
Art From the Streets isn’t slowing down any time soon. Future goals include moving into their own space so that they can further serve the homeless population in Austin. They also hope to offer art classes and other mediums including sculpting and 3-D design.