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“I AM SOMEBODY” Photographic Exhibit Brings Humanity To Our Homeless Community

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

[Fayetteville, North Carolina] – I AM somebody. I DESERVE to be seen. Shedding light on the harsh realities of unhoused life in Fayetteville, the Arts Council of Fayetteville | Cumberland County presents the “I AM SOMEBODY - Faces of Homelessness” Exhibition: Works by Dona Marlowe on display January 3 through January 22, 2022, at The Arts Center located at 301 Hay Street in Historic Downtown Fayetteville. Free and open to the public.

“I AM SOMEBODY – Faces of Homelessness” is the first-ever exhibit by local photographer Dona Marlowe who captures a compassionate and respectful depiction of our homeless community through a compilation of over twenty artistic photographs of individuals and their living conditions.

Hidden in the shadows and often excluded, isolated, and forgotten, the issues affecting Fayetteville’s homeless community set Marlowe on a personal mission to use photography to reveal and affirm the humanity and dignity of our unhoused neighbors by challenging society to look into their eyes and truly see their face, their name, their heart, and their story. Each of them is Somebody.

“These images must be seen to be felt,” says Marlowe. “Getting to know the people depicted in my photographs, I invited them to participate in my artistic representation of them - including a welcomed invitation to visit this exhibit.”

Marlowe began her years-long journey to create this body of work the day she became aware of herself averting her eyes when she saw a homeless person on the street in Fayetteville. This realization caused Marlowe to think about how the unhoused community is around us but not acknowledged, and certainly not with us. Marlowe wondered how it must feel to be excluded by most, if not all, of society.


Mixed Media Photography 20”x30”

William knew the Jesse Jackson version of “I am Somebody” from the civil rights era. His face lit up and he recited it. He is an Army veteran. He has a proud, kind, and strong energy and his voice has a beautiful deep resonance.


Mixed Media Photography 20”x30”

Also known as Papa Smurf, Charles is a poet and wants his poetry published (they are his most prized possessions). He was moved to tears when he saw that his photograph was overlaid with his handwritten poem. He has lived on the streets for a long time. His wife was homeless with him, but she tragically passed away last year.


Mixed Media Photography 20”x30”

Ask yourself, why would a combat veteran prefer to live here? Is it quieter, simpler, more familiar than mainstream culture?


Mixed Media Photography 20”x30”

Off-Road Outreach provided donated military boots to anyone that wanted a pair, and everyone there did. Socks are one of the most needed items. Warm feet are a luxury. If someone feels uncomfortable giving money, a pair of socks would be most appreciated.


The full works by Dona Marlowe will be on display January 3-22, 2022.

50% of the proceeds from all artwork sales will be donated to Off-Road Outreach.


As a 2020-21 recipient of the Artist Support Grant awarded by the Arts Council of Fayetteville | Cumberland County, the “I AM SOMEBODY – Faces of Homelessness” project was also made possible in collaboration with Stacey Buckner of Off-Road Outreach, who assisted Marlowe in meeting members of the homeless community, Bill Ramsey, who introduced Marlowe to two of the photographed participants, and Sam Robbins, who adapted one of his original songs, “Hard to Hate,” to play during the exhibit.

Download the official Press Release, Promotional Materials, and Artist Bio:


All media is cordially invited to attend the Exhibition Reception for the “I AM SOMEBODY - Faces of Homelessness” Exhibition: Works by Dona Marlowe on January 7, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm at The Arts Center located at 301 Hay Street in Historic Downtown Fayetteville. Dona Marlowe will be onsite for interview opportunities. RSVP not required.


Marketing & Public Relations:

Christy McNeil

Director of Marketing



The Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County (ACFCC)is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization based in Fayetteville, NC that supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development, and lifelong learning through the ARTS.

Founded in 1973, the ACFCC has served as a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations, and the greater community by administering programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate economic growth, reinforce child education through the arts, and enhance the cultural identity of the arts and entertainment district.

In the year 2020-21, the ACFCC distributed $1.1 million in grant funds and allocations to Cumberland County arts and culture non-profit organizations, artists, and municipalities. Grants, programs, and services of the ACFCC are funded in part by contributions from community partners, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

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