Charlotte Rescue Mission Practices the Art of Transformation
How do you make the invisible … visible?
That’s a question artists have grappled with for centuries. It’s also a challenge faced by the Charlotte Rescue Mission (CRM) as they kick off a campaign to raise funds for Rebound, a faith-based, free, 120-day residential recovery program for men dealing with homelessness and substance abuse.
While Rebound provides food, clothing and shelter in CRM’s facility off Cedar Street (behind Community Matters Café), it’s foundation is intense individual and group counseling that helps men in the program address the root causes behind their challenges.
According to CRM, Rebound enjoys a completion rate twice the national average of similar programs. But, they are doing all of it in a facility that is past its prime.
A Building to Build Better Futures
“We’re proud of everything the men in Rebound accomplish here,” said Brittany Jenkins, manager of leadership gifts for CRM. “But, we’re doing all of it with them in a building that’s nearly 100 years old. We want to match the miracles that happen at Rebound every day with a modern facility to support our work.”
CRM is working to raise $25 million for a new facility, built at the current site of Rebound, that will offer more meeting and counseling space, an on-site medical facility and the ability to house and help 100 more men than they can today. They are nearing the halfway point in their #MiracleAtCedarStreetCampaign.
To help them continue the momentum of their campaign, CRM engaged four prominent members of Charlotte’s creative community.
The Art of Transformation
Rebound doesn’t focus on just the immediate needs of the men in the program, said Jenkins. The work of Rebound is to transform the lives of the men, to help them address the challenges behind addiction and emerge from the program changed, strengthened and ready for a new life.
To demonstrate that, CRM partnered with Charlotte Is Creative, publishers of The Biscuit, to hire local artists to develop The Art of Transformation, a pop-up installation of eight original works of art. The artists engaged in the project are Makayla Binter, Ricky Singh, Matthew Clayburn and lead artist DeNeer Davis.
On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, a team from Warco Construction installed eight art boards (each 4 feet wide by 6 feet tall) at seven locations around Charlotte. Each board was stark white, bearing a quote from a graduate of Rebound. Materials to create the signs were donated by Boingo Graphics and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
On Oct. 4, those boards were transformed, each enhanced by an original work of art painted around the quote to demonstrate how Rebound changed the trajectory of the men behind the words.
“It’s an honor to be able to put my art on a canvas that has this quote, that truly comes from someone from an authentic place,” said Singh.
Enhancing Words with Images
One of the quotes Davis was given was: “This is a special place and I know it works it’s doing something real.” It was provided by a Rebound graduate who goes by the name Dice. [Find a video with Dice and Davis here.]
Davis says the process of bringing Dice’s words to life was emotional. Especially when she unveiled it to him.
“How do you describe, or put into words, watching a graduate’s reaction after seeing what you created? How do you describe the magic that took place, the energy in the room, the joy, the conversations?,” she asked.
“The reactions spoke louder than any Webster and Oxford definition. They rang louder than any base from a speaker box. Words don’t describe the incredible feeling, the embrace, the impact.”
See The Art of Transformation in Action
Here is a short video that captured the process of building The Art of Transformation, featuring interviews with the artists and Rebound graduates whose quotes formed the basis of the art.
The Art of Transformation is On Public View Through Oct. 10
The work created for The Art of Transformation is up for a short time at the locations below. It will be removed and returned to the Charlotte Rescue Mission on Oct. 11. See the work for yourself here:
- Community Matters Cafe, 821 W. First St.
- Work by Matthew Clayburn and Ricky Singh
- Dilworth United Methodist Church, 605 East Blvd.
- Work by Makayla Binter
- St. John’s Episcopal, 1623 Carmel Rd.
- Work by Makayla Binter
- Providence Church of Christ, 4900 Providence Rd.
- Work by DeNeer Davis
- Harrison United Methodist Church, 15008 Lancaster Hwy.
- Work by Ricky Singh
- First Baptist Charlotte, 301 S. Davidson St.
- Work by DeNeer Davis
- Lowe’s Home Improvement, 217 Iverson Way
- Work by Matthew Clayburn
About the #MiracleCedarStreet Campaign
To learn more and donate, visit www.miracleatcedarstreet.org