Homecoming Project (HCP) is a community-based, storytelling performance series that aims to marry high-quality artistic practice with a commitment to maintaining the essential relationship between culture and progressive social change through engagement with and work in communities of oppressed and exploited people.
Why We Do It
Because we understand the immense power of arts and culture as a tool for social change. Art allows us to think beyond the margins of textbooks and past the slides of lectures. Art allows people to feel and deeply understand a concept, an experience in a way no other mode of learning is capable of. Art also brings people together and that artistic collaboration between creatives and community members fosters a community capable of thriving, instead of just surviving.
How We Do It
We do it by listening. We value reciprocal relationships with our community and we honor listening as an essential element of community building and engagement. As our founder John O'Neal says, "you don't have to like the story that someone else tells but you do have to respect their right to tell it." This type of people to people connection allows us to us to honor the sacred tradition of gathering and sharing stories over food, it is the great human equalizer. We invite you to come, eat, relax, and connect with each other as we re-imagine how to create the change we want to see in our communities and in the world.
Who We Do It For
We do it for those who have been forced out of the place their ancestors have called home for generations, we do it for those who must watch their historical cultural practices become monetized while they reap no profit, we do it for those who have lost their gathering spaces to new policies that deem them criminal, we do it for those that fight to remind disaster profiteers that some things cannot be bought and our great city is most certainly not for sale.
Where We Do It
We are the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater, founded in 1963, whose objective was to stimulate creative and reflective thought among African Americans in the rural South by bringing the theater to the people. We honor that vision with our Homecoming Project performances by activating public spaces in the neighborhoods they are meant to influence, making sure that they are accessible to all.