Texas Faith: Pastor Bruce Buchanan finds his calling in helping the homeless

The Dallas Morning News, October 30, 2015

Bruce Buchanan, executive director of the Stewpot, stands in front of just some of the art displayed in the homeless center’s second-floor gallery. (Hunter Johnson/Staff Contributor)

Bruce Buchanan, executive director of the Stewpot, stands in front of just some of the art displayed in the homeless center’s second-floor gallery. (Hunter Johnson/Staff Contributor)

Bruce Buchanan has reason to be proud of the artwork around him. The walls of the second-floor hallway he stands in are covered in pieces ranging from acrylic paintings and penciled sketches to detailed fabric work and metal crafts.  The styles are diverse, ranging from abstract to incredibly detailed.

This hallway isn’t in the Dallas Museum of Art; this was in an upstairs portion of the Stewpot, a homeless center. Artists that are homeless created everything hanging on the walls.

It’s easy for some of us who aren’t homeless to doubt the potential of those who are. That’s an issue Buchanan himself doesn’t have. An associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and the executive director of the Stewpot, he’s seen the potential of the homeless and needy. Guided by his faith, he’s worked for decades to improve their lives.

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Stewpot still growing to help homeless after 40 years

The Dallas Morning News 24 October 2015

Vernon Bryant/DMN Staff Photographer Malaika Abdul-Rahman of the Dallas Street Choir danced as her group sang “This Little Light of Mine” during a celebration of the Stewpot’s 40th anniversary. With services that now include a medical and dental clinic, the Stewpot assisted more than 10,000 people in 2014.

Vernon Bryant/DMN Staff Photographer

Malaika Abdul-Rahman of the Dallas Street Choir danced as her group sang “This Little Light of Mine” during a celebration of the Stewpot’s 40th anniversary. With services that now include a medical and dental clinic, the Stewpot assisted more than 10,000 people in 2014.

Michael Bell used to sell drugs outside the Stewpot.

But with the help of the homeless outreach in downtown Dallas, he’s now in a different business.

Calling himself Michael the gardener, he tends more than three-quarters of an acre across from the ministry on Young Street.

“Working in the garden helps calm me down,” said Bell, 32.

The site of the garden was nothing but two concrete slabs before it was transformed into an oasis of 90 beds to grow produce.

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Dallas' Museum of Street Culture Will Challenge How We Look At Museums

centraltrack.com October 23, 2015

The museum began to take shape a few years ago when local filmmaker and author Alan Govenar was approached by Carol J. Adams on behalf of what was then called the 508 Park Project Committee with the idea of helping to conceive a new museum. The Stewpot had just acquired a perfect spot for such a concept -- the famed 508 Park Avenue building located right across the street from its own headquarters.

The museum began to take shape a few years ago when local filmmaker and author Alan Govenar was approached by Carol J. Adams on behalf of what was then called the 508 Park Project Committee with the idea of helping to conceive a new museum. The Stewpot had just acquired a perfect spot for such a concept -- the famed 508 Park Avenue building located right across the street from its own headquarters.

Shot over two and a half years, Serving Second Chances is a documentary film about the homeless in Dallas and how they interface with The Stewpot, an organization that offers resources and opportunities for homeless and at-risk individuals. Last Thursday night, the film was shown at a sold-out screening at the Angelika as part of the Dallas VideoFest 28. Musician Gerald Williams, one of the film's principle characters, performed after the film. On November 5, a shorter version of the film will be released for television broadcast on KERA's Frame of Mind series.

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The Dallas VideoFest at the Angelika Film Center kicks off Thursday with a terrific documentary about the Dallas homeless, Serving Second Chances.

TheatreJones.com, October 15, 2015  

Dallas - One of the highlights of tonight's Dallas VideoFest programming is the world premiere of Serving Second Chances (7 p.m., Angelika Film Center), a stirring and enlightening documentary by Dallas filmmaker Alan Govenar, who spent three years documenting the both the day-to-day operations of the local homeless shelter and human services provider The Stewpot—now in its 40th year of service to the community—as well as the personal struggles of three of its clients to stabilize their lives.

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Documentary on Dallas homeless shelter The Stewpot premieres Thursday

Dallas Morning News, October 13, 2015

Filmmaker Alan Govenar met guitarist Gerald Williams at a Robert Johnson sound-alike contest in 2012.

Williams said he regularly slept on a bench in front of Dallas City Hall. Govenar spent the next 2 1/2 years documenting Williams’ life. He and two others are the central characters in the documentary Serving Second Chances.  

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The Big Screen: Dallas’ Distribution Past

KERA Art & Seek News:

508 Park Street in downtown Dallas is best known as the building where Robert Johnson, Gene Autry and other legends recorded. And that important piece of music history can overshadow the significant role the building played in movie history. This week, we talk about an era when some of Hollywood’s biggest films were distributed through Dallas.

The 508 Park Movie Night series begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 4. It’s free, but be sure to RSVP.