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Student Volunteers Offer Art to Homeless

A group of students gave homeless Nashvillians an opportunity to express themselves through music and art during a community service project on Nov. 19.

Belmont musicians, artists and writers each spent two hours at Room in the Inn officiating workshops with the homeless men and women. Together they painted on canvas, drew with colored pencils and sang.

“You could tell that they really enjoyed it. I just told them to paint what they felt, and it came out as abstracts, and I got to hear their personal stories,” said Rebecca Sasser, a freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. studying studio art. “It showed me that they have normal backgrounds, families and kids and just had bad turns that led them to where they are now. The homeless are not lazy people who lay in the streets. We are all the same and just deal with different issues.”

Belmont musicians, like senior Kenny Freeman, also performed original compositions in the Room in the Inn’s coffee shop.

“I really enjoyed just getting to sit down and talk with people there and learn about their experiences,” said Freeman, a music business major from Texas. “I have always had an interest in the homeless population. It gave them a chance to step back and not worry about all of the things they had going on and just create.”

Student Nicole Brandt coordinated the service project through Belmont Community Leaders (BCL) and the Center for Service Learning. BCL allows students to organize service projects for their peers or direct ongoing volunteerism at a community organization.