Evicted opens at the National Building Museum on Saturday

Categories: Press

Press event on Friday, April 13 at 10 am

Photo by Sally Ryan.
Photo by Sally Ryan.

Press preview for Evicted, a new exhibition based on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book

Matthew Desmond, author, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; professor of sociology, Princeton University
Sarah A. Leavitt, curator, National Building Museum

Friday, April 13 at 10 am
RSVP to Emma Filar at efilar@nbm.org. Space is limited.

National Building Museum
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

This Saturday, the National Building Museum opens Evicted, an immersive new exhibition based on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer prize-winning book. Using recently released data researched by the Eviction Lab, the first nationwide database of evictions, Evicted brings visitors to the intimate, frustrating, painful, and often repeated process of losing everything—furniture, food, heat, school supplies—as a family starts all over, over and over again. Evicted opens April 14, 2018 and runs through May 19, 2019 and will have free admission during its entire run.

Evictions used to be rare. But today, incomes for poor, renting families have remained stagnant, while housing costs have soared. More than 11 million Americans are extremely low-income renters: they work, but do not make enough money to pay rent in their housing market. The federal government does not fill this gap. In fact, 75% of qualified families do not receive federal housing aid, and low-income families face a shortage of affordable housing in almost every single county in the country.

Eviction is not just about the loss of private space and possessions. It often leads to a spiral of hard times, affecting everything from physical and mental health, to job performance and school stability. Crimes go unreported as tenants fear penalization from nuisance ordinances. Children switch schools too often to make friends or be noticed and helped by teachers; neighbors cannot develop bonds; personal belongings are left in storage or out on the street. Landlords hesitate to rent to those with eviction records, or charge them extra money, causing a devastating negative feedback loop.

To portray this crisis, the exhibition employs a rich array of new photography and audio interviews. Specially commissioned visual infographics and forward-thinking design introduce visitors to the numbers and statistics that will help them to better understand the causes for and ramifications of chronic eviction. Data developed by the Eviction Lab will highlight rates of evictions in different markets and make evident the depths of the problem. Working together, these elements amplify the stories of tenant families, as they explain in their own words and images the impact eviction has on them and their loved ones.

This exhibition is generously supported by Ford Foundation; Amy C. Falls; Wells Fargo Housing Foundation; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust; The Annie E. Casey Foundation; International Masonry Institute; International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; Enterprise Community Partners; LISC, in memory of Oramenta Newsome; and Charles P. and Shari Lawrence Pfleeger.

A small selection of images is available at go.nbm.org/evictedpress. Contact Emma Filar for more information.

View the trailer here.

The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, and design is important for all ages. Through exhibitions and educational programs, we show how the built world has power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Photo by Sally Ryan.