“The Road Home: A Journey from Homeless to Housing” on Display at the Kansas City Museum

Portrait of Elizabeth from The Road Home:  A Journey from Homelessness to Housing

Portrait of Manadou from The Road Home:  A Journey from Homelessness to Housing

The Road Home: A Journey from Homelessness to Housing is a photography exhibition created by artist and filmmaker Randy Bacon in collaboration with reStart Inc., a nonprofit organization that runs the only homeless shelter in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, serving all populations. Sponsored by JE Dunn Construction, the exhibit is comprised of 18 portraits and stories of current and former reStart residents as well as a short film that shows first-hand what it looks like when the need for housing goes unmet. On display at the Kansas City Museum from Nov. 3, 2023, to April 28, 2024, this exhibit was commissioned by reStart and inspired by The Road I Call Home, Randy’s travelling exhibition which brings attention and empathy to the nation’s homeless population.

Portrait of Yolanda from The Road Home:  A Journey from Homelessness to Housing

Given the continued increase in homelessness in Kansas City, reStart’s CEO Stephanie Boyer and Board of Directors wanted to create an exhibit that changes how Kansas Citians see and discuss homelessness. Dedicated to providing resources for the growing population of unhoused youth, families, individuals and veterans in the greater Kansas City area, reStart is a low-barrier shelter that welcomes anyone regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation. Through emergency shelter, individualized case management and wrap-around services, reStart supports the whole person and shepherds residents from homelessness to safe and stable housing.

reStart’s Director of Development Stacy Mayer explains, “Homelessness means something different for everyone. It can be unstable housing, sleeping on the streets or in a car, fleeing abuse, or being at risk of losing your residence. We want to humanize those who experience homelessness and have community conversations that inspire a call to action.”

In addition to the exhibit, there will be a series of programs in 2024 at the Kansas City Museum to provide learning opportunities and discussions about how community members may work together more effectively to address homelessness in Kansas City. Kansas City Museum Director of Inclusive Learning & Creative Impact Glenn North notes, “We are honored to serve as a venue for these important conversations and aim to collaborate with reStart and additional partners to explore more accurately and truthfully the historical root causes of homelessness and the disparities in housing through this exhibit and our continued work with Randy Bacon.”

Portrait of Madison Thurman from KC Together

In 2019, the Kansas City Museum began working with Randy and his movement platform 8 Billion Ones to create large-scale portraits for the Museum’s Our City, Our Stories gallery. In 2022, the Museum and Randy conceived KC Together, a new series of still portraits, short film conversations and motion portraits about Kansas Citians. KC Together is a new media component
for Our City, Our Stories.

One of the 10 individuals featured in KC Together is Madison Thurman, who experienced homelessness in Kansas City throughout her teenage years. She is an advocate for The Halo Foundation and reStart Inc. With the support of these two organizations, Madison graduated valedictorian from her high school while living in the youth shelter at reStart. Today Madison is an artist and activist, and she aims to uplift others who are currently experiencing homelessness and who seek inspiration and mentorship.

“As I work collaboratively with different individuals and nonprofit organizations, I am driven more and more by the important and inspiring stories of each and every ‘one’ of us,” explains Randy Bacon. As a photographer and filmmaker, I have always been intrigued by the fact that each and every person is a one-of-a-kind original — a never before created miracle. This simple, yet complex truth, “we are ALL original miracles,” is the creative seed that flames my passion for photography and represents the connecting thread with all of my work.”

–reStart Inc., Randy Bacon & Kansas City Museum, photograpy by Randy Bacon

CategoriesArts Consortium

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