SOUTH FLORIDA – A powerful presentation by Broward County Artist George Gadson, tied hope and art together recently at the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Pompano Beach, FL.
“Come Walk in My Shoes,” offered through Gadson’s not-for-profit organization Art-Turnatives for Building Communities, invited first-time homeowners into an opportunity to reflect and create. This short, engaging, interactive media presentation was geared for the young audience on the verge of a positive life change through Habitat for Humanity of Broward County.
Sharing history of shoes, transformation of styles, and famous tales of historic heroes and their shoes, Gadson held the audience captive and eager to paint their shoes and tell their story. “Shoes can tell you a lot about a person,” says Mr. George, as he is called when working with children. “What story will your shoes tell?”
Senator “Walking Lawton” Chiles walked 1,003 miles throughout Florida when running for a seat in the United States’ Senate in 1970, and Barack Obama inadvertently showed off the holes in his shoes from his desk in the Oval Office in a now famous and much debated iconic image.
On this morning, Gadson’s audience is anxious to get to artwork and tell their story. “My story has some bad things,” says one young boy, and he seems ready to paint about it.
Approved applicants with Habitat for Humanity of Broward are completing their final phase within a program that has selected 77 deserving families for first-time home ownership in the Rick Case Habitat Community, a nine-acre site located at the SW Corner of NW15th St. and NW 6th Ave. The homes are hurricane-proof and Leed-Certified for families in need, built by them, and other members of the Broward community.
“Three hundred community service hours are required as part of this program that moves entire families from sometimes difficult and overcrowded situations, into the dignity of home ownership.” says Director of Community Outreach, Program Services and Advocacy, Marcia Barry-Smith.
Today, they have shared shoes.