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Activist Matthew Works to visit SU to bring attention to issue of homelessness

September 17, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Matthew Works, an artist, writer and activist, will visit Syracuse University this month to bring attention to the issue of homelessness.

Hendricks Chapel will host “Nowhere to Lay His Head,” an art installation by Works, in the Noble Room Sept. 20-30. A closing reception will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 4-6 p.m. in the Noble Room.

“This installation embodies the best spirit of Hendricks Chapel as a place where faith and justice meet in creative ways. We are delighted to host an exhibit that explores pressing contemporary issues through the lens of faith and art,” says Hendricks Chapel Dean Tiffany Steinwert. “Works’ installation is an opportunity for the wider University community to put a face on the issue of homelessness. Through art and lecture, Works brings alive the growing epidemic of homelessness in this country.”

In addition to the art installation, Hendricks Chapel will host “An Open Conversation with Matthew Works” on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Noble Room.

Works will also bring his message to the greater Syracuse community. He will speak at “Nowhere to Lay His Head: The Role of Faith Communities in Addressing the Epidemic of Homelessness,” on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 232 E. Onondaga St. He will also be the guest preacher at the 10:30 a.m. worship service at University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St., on Sunday, Sept. 26.

All events are free and open to the public.

Works’ visit also coincides with the third annual Shack-A-Thon, which will take place on the SU Quad Sept. 22-24. The event is hosted by the SU/SUNY-ESF chapter of Habitat for Humanity and brings awareness to the need for affordable, quality housing in the city of Syracuse.

Works has lived in Boston for the past 30 years, the last 13 of which have been spent “out on the streets.” His studio is mobile by necessity, and he creates his artwork wherever he is allowed to sit and work without being harassed. Over the past three years, he has traveled extensively throughout the United States, speaking at churches, colleges and universities.

Works has experienced hostility directed at the homeless by people who assume that people who are poor or without a home are lazy or shiftless. Works’ speaking and exhibit schedule stand in stark contrast to those attitudes.

He has been featured on National Public Radio and profiled in the New York Times’ best-selling book “God’s Politics” (Harper San Francisco, 2006) by the Rev. Jim Wallis.

For more information on Works’ visit, contact Hendricks Chapel at 443-2901.

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