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Stories from the Unhoused is an upcoming project that will spotlight the narratives of unhoused people within Eugene by transforming recordings of their experiences into a 45-minute, newly composed work for music and dance. We are conducting taped interviews with about two dozen members of this community and working with them to capture the sounds of their environments. These recordings are currently being collected and will be organized into an electronic backing track that will accompany EDME musicians and guest dancers in our performance. We aim to not only inform the public of hardships, barriers, and banalities that accompany life without a permanent residence, but also bring delight to interviewees who act as our partners in the art-making process.


EDME is cooperating with local humanitarian organizations, including First Christian Church, to conduct interviews with unhoused people. We bring portable recording equipment to shelters and other charitable facilities and set up quiet spaces where volunteers can share about their lives. All volunteers are asked the same questions and, if they have a cell phone, document sounds in their environment over the course of a week to send to our project coordinator. All recordings will then be edited and manipulated to create the backing track. EDME will collaborate on a new composition paired with the track, and our dance partner Fermata Ballet Collective will choreograph a routine for the music. Our production partner, ArtCity, aided with fundraising and grant-writing for the project.


We will present an all-ages performance in June 2024 in the East Park Block. The experience will convey the voices of our interviewees alongside and against each other, as well as moments of instrumental interludes, and even silent dance. It will project the issues of our economic system through an aesthetic lens, one which creates allies among the housed population, but principally focuses on bringing a collaborative artistic opportunity to a highly marginalized group.

Stories from the Unhoused is funded in part by a Community Project Grant from Lane Arts Council and Eugene Cultural Services' Downtown Program Fund.

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