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Museum Exhibitions Highlight Community Action To Combat Homelessness

Photo: Mikey Kettinger
A exhibit at The Leonardo that displays this image when photographed with a smart phone

Every four years, in conjunction with the presidential election, Americans become slightly more interested in politics. Polls, candidates, issues and parties become subjects of countless jokes and a lot of attention, and for some Salt Lake City museums, politics will be central themes for exhibitions.

One of these exhibitions at Salt Lake City’s Leonardo Museum is titled No Fixed Address.  The exhibition boldly presents its audience with images, information and literal donation boxes where visitors can insert dollar bills to various local agencies that are working to lessen Utah’s homeless problem. Currently 1 in every 213 Utahns are without a stable home, according to the Leonardo Museum.

“We believe in the fact that there is a fusion in the thinking process that governs art, science and technology. That thinking process is what we’re going to need to solve problems that the human race has never faced before. It’s going to be big solutions coming from unexpected places,” said The Leonardo’s Creative DiectorJannHaworth.

Haworth believes there are many misconceptions associated with homelessness, but that people in Utah tend to have big hearts and a dedication to public service, regardless of their religious affiliations.

“If you really are out on the street, how do you get up and go to a job interview?” asked Haworth. “In a way, that’s what this exhibition is. It’s framing so that you can come face-to-face and see someone like yourself, and know that there isn’t that great a distance. It’s one paycheck away, or one severe health problem away from where we stand.”

The Leonardo is also exhibiting the research of urban planning graduate students from the University of Utah who worked to map homelessness in the Wasatch Region of Utah as a companion exhibition.