It’s not very often that homeless men and women are given a stage to tell their own stories. But that’s exactly what happened when artist/teacher Polly Garcia approached Atlanta Outreach Project’s about creating Life Without Walls.
Atlanta Outreach Project provides innovative solutions to ending homelessness in collaboration with other agencies. Life Without Walls project was a 10-week writing and theater workshop designed to teach and improve writing and artistic skills. In the workshops, individuals who are or have been homeless were guided through an artistic process in which they created poems and scenes based on their own stories. As part of the process, they used a StoryKit to interview each other and tell their stories.
Their hard work was on display this past weekend, as they performed Life Without Walls to packed audiences at the Little 5 Points Community Center. The members of the ensemble, Murray, Scotty, Tracy and William, each directed an act based on their life and then told their story, often incorporating poetry. After the performance, the audience had an opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts about the performance.
StoryCorps Atlanta is proud to have played a small part in this process. And long after the applause has faded from the performance, their stories will live on in the StoryCorps archives at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian for African American History and Culture.