Photo of two artist in front of the "I Have a Home Here" bus.
Ken Martin

The “I Have a Home Here” art bus made an appearance at the first annual Painting Out Poverty festival in Southwest D.C. on Saturday, August 16.

While at the festival, some Street Sense Interactive Art Group participants along with other festival attendees created art for the current bus project, called Homlessopoly. This life size monopoly game aims to take the players through the everyday life of the people with unstable housing.

The Paint Out Poverty festival brought artists and community organizers together to collectively explore the arts for the means of touching the lives of the less fortunate. Panel speakers and others discussed some important issues around the subject.

The art bus was painted with gold “$” signs in the spirit of the monopoly game. The signs also point out the one-sided role of money in our community. The mission of the art bus is not specifically to raise money for housing situation, there is no direct ask.  In this context, the “$” signs symbolize the fact that the bus is the “money.”

“I was inspired by the panel’s powerful discussion on the transformative and healing power of art,” said Paulina Sosa, an event organizer for Painting Out Poverty.

One of the most important goals of this effort is community engagement and the coming together of different groups and organizations to create art, to create a support infrastructure and to have fun. Painting Out Poverty’s first annual event was a great success in the context of this goal.

“For me, the event was proof that there is a real organic hunger to collaborate and partner; to create useful dialogue and discussion; and for the community to use its voice to speak out,” Sosa said.

Events like Paint Out Poverty are a perfect opportunity for the “I Have A Home Here” project. The art bus is currently under construction for more art and will make its next appearance at Figment DC, September 26 – 27, in Anacostia Park D.C.

Bardia Saeedi leads the Street Sense Interactive Art Group.