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Student Connects with Homeless through Arts

homeless-painting-199x300A Belmont senior has founded a nonprofit organization to aid Nashville’s homeless through performing and fine arts and will host a fundraiser June 29 to benefit the initiative. Nicole Brandt began Poverty & the Arts while working a campus job in the Center of Service Learning.

Poverty & the Arts, which is seeking 501(c)3 status, uses the arts as a means of reconciliation. Brandt said she believes greater change happens when volunteers create with them instead of only serving the homeless food. The organization organizes music, visual art, and creative writing events with Nashville college students and homeless. During Bruin Den Day 2012, 40 Belmont and Tennessee State University students volunteered through Poverty & the Arts to give homeless Nashvillians an opportunity to express themselves through music and art through workshops at Room in the Inn. The organization has organized other creative outlet workshops at Room in the Inn for the past two years.

The fundraiser, from 6 to 10 p.m. June 29 at Main Street Gallery in East Nashville, is an art gala that will include a jazz band, an art show, a silent auction and testimonies from past events. Tickets are $25 in advanced or $30 at the door and can be purchased here.