Museum of Culture and Environment will take a closer look at addiction & homelessness with upcoming exhibit

Written by: Aubree Downing, Account Executive

Coming January 2015, the Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University will take on the subject of addiction and homelessness in urban areas.  This exhibit if from Penn State is titled: Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction, and Poverty in Urban America.

Based on book written by anthropologist Philippe Bourgios and photographer-ethnographer Jeff Schonberg, this exhibit draws upon Bourgios’ and Schonberg’s experience with a community of homeless drug users who survive on the streets of San Francisco.

This exhibit gives the audience an intimate look into the daily lives of the drug users and explores the relationship between addition and homelessness through photographs with edited transcripts of recorded conversations, field work notes, and a critical analysis,

Righteous Dopefiend will also talk about the unintended consequences public policies can have for these users.

In correlation with Righteous Dopefiend, the Museum of Culture and Environment will have community events throughout the exhibits stay.

Some of these events include:

  •  Thursday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m. the Opening reception for “Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America.
  • Thursday, January 29 at Noon: Poverty and Politics of Representation: A Roundtable featuring Jeff Schonberg co-author of Righteous Dopefiend.
    • During this event Jeff Schonberg will talk along with Saeed Mohamed, Lene Pedersen, J. and Hope Amason about the politics and ethics of representing poverty and structural violence.
  • Thursday, January 29 at 5:30 p.m.: Philippe Bourgois lecture.
    • At this event Philippe Bourgois will present his current research on drug use and impoverishment in America.
  • Thursday, February 19 at 5:30 p.m.: Addiction and Recovery in our Neighborhoods: A Community Conversation.
    • This event will include specialists on addiction and recovery, students, community people as they talk about local challenges and avenues for progress on issues concerning addiction and homelessness in central Washington.

For the last five years the Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University, has provided the people of Kittitas County with a free place to learn about the world around them, inspire curiosity, and foster global citizenship.

Past exhibits include Wolves in Washington State, Where there’s Smoke…Living with Fire, and the Museum’s current exhibit (until December 6th 2014) How did the Cougar Cross the Road? Restoring wildlife passages at Snoqualmie Pass.

For more information on the Museum of Culture and Environment go to the Museums website at or check out the Facebook page at


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