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Facing Homelessness:
A Community Mask-Making Project

A creative collaboration between Studio Pardes and
West Suburban PADS

To learn more about West Suburban PADS go to video "Beyond Shelter: The Story of West Suburban PADS."

Video produced by A Squared Productions, Pat and John Allen, and designed to educate the community about the many services PADS provides in addition to the overnight shelter.

“Facing Homelessness” was a year-long collaborative effort between West Suburban Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) and Studio Pardes, a private artist-run community studio in Oak Park, Illinois. The goals of the project were to raise awareness about issues of homelessness, to break down stereotypes about who is homeless, and to experiment with art-based social action as a means of creating community and exploring a social problem.

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Close to 300 people were involved in creating, exhibiting, and finally auctioning over 100 plaster gauze masks that were uniquely created and embellished. Each participant was interviewed and, in three exhibitions around town, vignettes from each interview were posted next to the mask along with myths and facts about homelessness, and inspirational quotations. The silent auction of masks, along with a spin-off project creating note cards featuring a selection of mask images, contributed to raising over $3000 for PADS programs. Part of the initial funding for the project came from the Oak Park Area Arts Council,which also helped secure two of the public spaces for exhibition of the masks: a community bank and the Village Hall gallery space.

More about the Facing Homelessness project

Mask Gallery



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