With the fraying of community bonds and the gaping holes in the U.S. safety net leaving millions of Americans only a health crisis or a job loss away from destitution , the crisis of homelessness touches more of us than we’d like to admit.

To look around and see such widespread despair and do nothing betrays the promise of our society. Now is the time for solutions. The ignorance, contempt, and fear focused on persons experiencing homelessness are not leading to solutions.

Are we willing to learn? Are we ready to accept responsibility, to embrace the other, to open our eyes and our ears?

This year, Idyllwild Arts Academy welcomes two organizations that, through the transformative power of art, have significantly impacted the lives of homeless and formerly homeless people.  Those organizations are:

VOICES OF OUR CITY – The Homeless Choir of San Diego

LOS ANGELES POVERTY DEPARTMENT – Art Program and Advocacy Organization

We listen to their stories and discover how we can also make a difference.

Symposium guest Steph Johnson and IA Faculty Don Reed collaborate during the “songwriting” breakout session.


Students participate during the “Virtual Storytelling” breakout session.


Kim Henderson instructs students during the “Zine Making” breakout session.


Students and Faculty create together during the “Sleep on the Sidewalk” chalk art breakout session.