Documentary Film: Passing Through

Rory White

Rory is a long time friend that we consider a community hero. We support his work as a financial manager for his non-profit.  The documentary “Passing Through” profiles some of his work and the community he has dedicated his life to.

Passing Through

“Passing Through” is Leslie Dektor’s profile of artist Rory White’s body of work on skid row. With a cast consisting of those that call the streets their home, this documentary is an authentic collaboration shedding light on the vibrant culture that exists among the dispossessed . It is through art that Rory cultivates a community and sense of belonging for the homeless. He established an MFA level studio that teaches and embraces the voices of the disenfranchised. It is in the testimony and stories told on canvas that we get a glimpse of life on the street.

Rory White is an oil painter, photographer, and activist. He sold his home and left behind the life he had in Northern California to become a resident of Skid Row. He is the recipient of the 2008 Eli Lilly Person of the Decade Award for his work with the homeless. “One of my initial premises in doing art projects for outsiders was that creative genius is extremely high in persons that do not fit into the tight linear tracks of this country’s educational, and societal fine arts systems and structures. I never embraced the ludicrous notion that the Skid Row inhabitants “needed culture brought to them” but that the culture of the people of Skid Row was radically spiritual, intelligent, brave and exquisite. I sought the honor of offering simple resources considered normal in the rest of societal niches, that is a Master’s Level studio space and materials for the fine arts, to the peoples of Skid Row” as Rory states.

What is Community?

What is a community? The film shows that a community is more than a group of people living in a particular area. It is a group of people with diverse backgrounds who are bonded by social ties, shared common perspective, and united by artistic expression.

Rory’s art and the artists profiled in the film can be seen here: The Artworks Continuum

“Passing Through” is Available Now on Amazon