Immersive installation inspired by Matthew Desmond’s groundbreaking research opens in Milwaukee in June 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum’s exhibition Evicted will travel across the country. With ten venues planned and more to be announced, Evicted will open in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Mobile Design Box on June 14, 2019.
Inspired by Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the Evicted exhibition brings visitors into a harsh reality faced by millions of American families every year. The exhibition challenges visitors to face the enormity of one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems, the eviction epidemic, while providing context for the crisis and a call to action. Developed in collaboration with designers MATTER Architecture Practice and mgmt. design, Evicted includes specially commissioned visual infographics and forward-thinking design to introduce visitors to images, personal testimony, and statistics that will help them to better understand the causes for and ramifications of chronic eviction. Data developed by the Eviction Lab—the first central repository for national eviction data—highlights rates of evictions in different markets and makes 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.
The exhibition also highlights ways that some local and state governments and nonprofits are intervening to upend the cycle of chronic evictions, such as Right to Counsel laws and new affordable housing projects. Visitors leave armed with ideas for ways they can enact change in their jurisdictions and help alleviate the downward spiral for those already living on the economic edge.
Evicted opened at the National Building Museum on April 14, 2018 and runs through May 19, 2019. This successful and provocative exhibition has been visited by over 60,000 people and counting. Many visitors saw themselves in the exhibition, with one remarking, “Having been evicted before, it hit home. It captured the feeling of losing everything so accurately.” Another said, “My family has been through eviction more times than I can remember. I struggled in school because I was always worried about whether or not my mom was stressed and whether I would have a place to stay.” Other visitors were inspired into action, pledging to volunteer with organizations who work to end homelessness. Read more Evicted reactions here.
The traveling exhibition has been redesigned for smaller venues and will be updated to include current data. MATTER and mgmt. will also design the traveling version. Specially commissioned media pieces created by Unfurl Productions will also accompany the traveling exhibition. In addition, each venue has the opportunity to schedule programs and events surrounding the exhibition that may emphasize their local connections to the topic.
“We have felt a tremendous impact of the exhibition here in Washington,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. “Presenting the exhibitions in cities and towns throughout the country provides further opportunity for continued dialogue between citizens, attorneys, landlords, elected officials, faith-based leaders, students, and parents. All of us have a stake in better understanding the link between housing instability and poverty, and this exhibition can provide that forum for conversation and help spur change.”
The first stop will be the Mobile Design Box in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a pop-up gallery operated by a consortium of Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, Aurora Health Care, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, and Marquette University. Milwaukee is a fitting first stop; that is where Matthew Desmond followed eight families struggling with chronic eviction, whose stories were the basis for his research and book.
“Milwaukee holds a special place in my heart,” said Desmond. “But evictions affect communities across the country. Americans are losing their homes, not by the tens or hundreds of thousands, but by the millions every year. Evictions impact cities large and small, rural and suburban communities too. We cannot promote social mobility in this country without first ensuring that families have a safe affordable place to live. Without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.”
The traveling exhibition is generously sponsored by the Avangrid Foundation, the primary philanthropic arm of AVANGRID, Inc. an integrated energy company headquartered in Orange, Connecticut. It is a subsidiary of Spain-based Iberdrola, S.A.
“We know through Dr. Desmond’s work that ‘home is life’,” said Nicole Licata Grant, director of Avangrid Foundation. “Our mission-driven commitment to investing in innovation, rigorous research, and creating vibrant communities compels us to support Evicted in the hopes that through broad engagement we find sustainable solutions to issues like stable housing and endemic poverty nationally.”
Venues interested in hosting Evicted should contact firstname.lastname@example.org; availability is limited.
Images from the National Building Museum installation are available at go.nbm.org/evictedpress. Crediting information is included in the filename.
Evicted at the National Building Museum was made possible thanks to support from Amy C. Falls, Ford Foundation, and Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, among other generous donors.
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