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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

 

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.  

Read more...

 

 

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.

 

Earth Day 2014

From Susan Stephens, Chair of the Encore Park Community Garden (EPCG)
At the Occasion of Earth Day 2014, Downtown Dallas

I was chair of the Community Ministries committee when the congregation of FPC purchased this piece of property several years ago with plans to restore the historic 508 Park building, build an outdoor amphitheater and have a green space within this corner of Downtown Dallas. As a Dallas County Master Gardner, I saw that green space on the plan and thought a community garden would be a wonderful addition to these visionary dreams.

The dream is coming true with hard work and funds from many, many people and fabulous partnerships like the Young Guns of The Real Estate Council.  Our EPCG committee has been meeting for about 2.5 years -for most gardeners the planning and waiting is hard since we are anxious to get our hands dirty. Already in use is our temporary bed where we are raising produce that has been distributed to the families of the ESL program at The Stewpot and Abigail has been using the garden with her Horticultural Therapy clients.

Our vision of Encore Park Community Garden is a place for people to regain their roots and plant second chances. Our community garden will break down barriers between people:
• Economic barriers
• Social barriers
• Racial barriers
• Religious barriers
• Barriers of age, physical ability, and having a home or not

It will be an inclusive space - open to everyone. We will start small and learn as we go but within a year or two I hope to see individuals working in their garden plots sharing their gardening best practices with one another – and one of these gardeners may live in one of the beautiful new expensive town homes being built in our neighborhood just blocks away and the other may not have a home of their own and be a client of The Stewpot. But they see one another as valued and loved children of God.

A little history of gardening in downtown Dallas includes William Ross’ garden:  In the mid to late -1800s there were two brothers named Ross living in the area that is modern day Downtown Dallas. In fact Ross Avenue is named for these two brothers and their home was located on what we now call Ross Avenue near the current day intersection of Ross and Akard.  One of the brothers, William, was very interested in horticulture. According to a Dallas Morning News article from April 1922 (92 years from today’s Earth Day), William cultivated a garden near his home in the mid to late 1880s. The skeptics thought he was crazy – that this was not a proper place for a garden but in fact his garden is attributed to be Dallas’ first Kitchen Garden.

With EPCG our dream is to again take a barren plot of land and use it to reconnect people with growth and new life in a garden in this corner of downtown Dallas.

To paraphrase the Parable of the Sower from the Gospel of Luke, this is the story where the Sower spreads seed.  Some of the seed lands on hard ground, other seed finds shallow, rocky soil and still more seed falls on soil filled with thorns and thistle filled soil - but some of the seeds lands on fertile soil. Our hope is some of today’s seed will find good soil in Encore Park CG and yield hundredfold.

The Stewpot Art Program showing at Walk the Light Art Festival


This Saturday, March 15th the Stewpot Artists will be showing their work at the 
Walk the Light Art Festival in Historic Downtown Cedar Hill.

The weather is supposed to be perfect so come on out between noon and 10PM.  

Bands * Vintage Volkswagen Auto Show * Kids Corner * Food Trucks
31 Artists and Craftspeople Including The Stewpot Artists
Fun for the whole family!

Art&Seek went inside the Dallas Stewpot Open Art Program, speaking with Art Director, Cynthia Brannum, and artists Leon Pollard, Stephen McGee, Nicole Nash and Charles William Faciall

The Stewpot Gun Buyback Program

The next Gun Buy Back is 

December 14th, 2013, 10 a.m - 2 p.m.

The Stewpot Gun Buy Back program offers a chance for families to benefit from the safe removal and destruction of unwanted weapons and ammunition across the Metroplex. The program as an effort to help make Dallas safer by offering an incentive to turn in weapons.

The Stewpot Gun Buy Back program offers a chance for families to benefit from the safe removal and destruction of unwanted weapons and ammunition across the Metroplex. The program as an effort to help make Dallas safer by offering an incentive to turn in weapons and is supported entirely through designated gifts of support.

The Stewpot program has collected and destroyed over 400 pistols, rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic assault weapons since its inception. After the guns are collected, they are ground down and the metal is recycled.

For more information:  http://www.thestewpot.org/pdf/buybackDEC2013.pdf