Coming Home Project description
Mental health problems and their care are frequently stigmatized and misunderstood in the African-American community. There is also a significant lack of access to therapy and mental health counseling. Through the production of Coming Home, Erasing the Distance will unite new stories with staples from past productions to shed light on and provoke dialogue about homelessness, addiction, self-injury, depression and other mental health challenges.
Professional actors will perform the stories in Coming Home at the South Side Community Art Center for three public performances in August. Beyond the August performances, ETD sees this production as an ignition point to expand the discussion through touring into schools, churches and other community centers. We also hope to inspire people to share their own stories, realize they are not alone, and seek help if they need it. Erasing the Distance is in its 10th year of producing documentary-style theatre that illuminates people’s experience of mental health issues.
The goal of this project - as for all of our projects - is to shed light on:
- the prevalence of mental health issues in our communities
- the fact that mental disorders are treatable
- the hope and help available
Our goal for Coming Home is to give voice to African-American stories that have been silenced due to fear of stigmatization, institutionalized racism in American society, and the resulting marginalization coming from such oppressions.
This video explains briefly how we do what we do:
Every Erasing the Distance performance is followed by a moderated discussion, and an opportunity for audience members to acquire mental health resources and referrals to professional help, upon request.
For more information about Erasing the Distance - including our history, how to tell us your story, or to book a performance for your organization - please visit our website at www.erasingthedistance.org.
How will your pledge be used?
Pledges from our Kickstarter campaign will cover about 1/3 of the total cost of producing Coming Home. When you help us, here's where your money will be going:
Erasing the Distance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which means your pledge is tax-deductible.
Risks and challenges
One of the primary challenges we ran into was finding a performance venue. ETD felt it was important to find a space on the South Side of Chicago, which is home to a predominantly African American population, to premiere Coming Home. In our search, we found that there were very few appropriate venues and most that we did find, were far out of our price range.
We were fortunate to find the South Side Community Art Center in the Bronzeville neighborhood, which is the oldest African American art center in the country.
ETD is committed to paying its artists, which increases overall expenses for our projects. Finding enough funding sources to cover all the costs is definitely a challenge. We were fortunate to receive some grant funding, but very much need the help of individual supporters through this Kickstarter campaign to be able to meet our budget.
We are using our historically successful grassroots marketing strategy on this project to galvanize audience members from area churches, schools, and community organizations and are seeking help from other artists and community leaders who have connections to residents on the South Side of Chicago.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)