weareallhomeless

Baronet’s exhibit is sponsored by HELP USA and features homeless signs purchased from across the country over the past 23 years

 DALLAS (July 22, 2016) – Texas artist and Southern Methodist University (SMU) professor Willie Baronet announces the opening for his WE ARE ALL HOMELESS installation as part of TRUTH TO POWER – a large-scale pop-up art exhibition, cultural convening, and community organizing event being installed during the Democratic National Convention. The exhibition will bring together some of the nation’s most prolific and talented visual artists (including Shepard Fairey, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and dozens of others), activists, musicians, poets, policymakers and community leaders. It will feature hundreds of inspiring works of art and over 25 hours of programming. TRUTH TO POWER is on display from July 25 -July 27 at 990 Spring Garden St. and is presented by Rock The Vote and other national partners.

The WE ARE ALL HOMELESS exhibit is sponsored by HELP USA. Baronet believes that homelessness is a bi-partisan issue that merits the attention of both parties. He just completed an installation at the Cleveland Public Library which opened on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

The exhibit will feature homeless signs Baronet bought from the homeless over the past 23 years including signs he purchased on a cross country trip in 2014 to 24 U.S. cities, including both Cleveland and Philadelphia. Baronet funded his project through an Indiegogo campaign, which garnered attention from various media outlets across the country such as NPR, Yahoo! News, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Upworthy, BuzzFeed, etc. To date, Baronet has spent more than $13,000 on homeless signs. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness and compassion about homelessness.

“I’m honored to have these installations at both conventions. I’ve been buying homeless signs for 23 years now, and one thing continues to amaze me: regardless of my friends’ political leanings, they all connect to this project. Everyone wrestles with what to do about this issue, and my hope is that we will all take a moment and realize there is no us and them –  it’s just us.” said Willie Baronet, artist and professor of creative advertising at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Maria Cuomo Cole, chairman of HELP USA, is helping to exhibit Baronet’s WE ARE ALL HOMELESS project in an effort to create awareness about the alarming rise of homelessness.

“HELP USA is excited about sponsoring the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS exhibit at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Like Willie, we believe that homelessness is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue. With all the services we provide at HELP USA, and through art exhibits like this one, our goal is to find solutions to this critical problem. And reminding people to see the humanity in those on the streets is a powerful way to raise awareness and compassion.” said Maria Cuomo Cole, long time chairman of HELP USA, the national nonprofit provider of housing and services for families and veterans in need.

In addition to art installations, Baronet and a film crew that traveled with him during his 24-city tour produced a documentary titled SIGNS OF HUMANITY that has already been accepted to three film festivals – the most recent being the 2016 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF).

For more information about the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS project, visit www.weareallhomeless.org.

 ABOUT THE WE ARE ALL HOMELESS PROJECT

For years, Willie Baronet was uncomfortable when he saw a homeless person on the street with a sign asking for money, so he often avoided looking at them. That all changed when he started buying their signs in 1993. Baronet, a Dallas artist and Stan Richards Professor of Creative Advertising at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been buying and collecting signs made by homeless people for more than 20 years. He uses his purchases to create innovative art exhibits and performances highlighting the critical issue of homelessness and concept of home – the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS project. The project aims to raise awareness about the critical issue of homelessness and change preconceived ideas many of us have about the homeless and their situations.

 ABOUT HELP USA

HELP USA is the leading national developer of housing and provider of jobs and services for homeless and at risk populations in the country, including families, veterans and victims of domestic violence. HELP has served more than 300,000 people since it was founded in 1986 and today serves more than 12,000 each year at 41 residences and programs across the country. To date, HELP has developed more than 2,000 units of housing including transitional and permanent supportive service programs.

#WeAreAllHomeless