Immersive exhibition will explore chronic eviction with new interviews, data, and photography
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
This event is for members of the media. RSVP to Emma Filar, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Building Museum
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 2001
This spring, the National Building Museum will open Evicted, an immersive new exhibition based on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer prize-winning book. Using new data developed by Desmond’s Eviction Lab, Evicted examines the reasons for and fallout from the more than 2.4 million American evictions each year. The exhibition 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.
Evictions used to be rare. Only in the last 30 years have they become more prevalent, with African American women and children often hit the hardest. Incomes for poor, renting families have remained stagnant, while housing costs soar higher than ever. The federal government does not fill this gap. In fact, 70% 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. Visitors will witness this cycle through original audio interviews and photography of a specific family facing chronic eviction, charting their journey through the housing search and court system.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, focused on eight families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin facing chronic eviction. Their stories are emblematic of a national crisis. The Evicted exhibition will expand the narrative of low-income renters. Large scale infographics will further illuminate the crisis. The Museum will also highlight 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 will be 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.
A small selection of images is available at go.nbm.org/evictedpress. Contact Emma Filar for more information.
The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook.