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Colorado Edition: The legacy of photographer John Johnson; encampments for those experiencing homelessness

An aerial photo of roughly 56 ice fishing shelters in parking spots. Next to the parking lot is a large grassy field with bleachers. In the background, there are large brick buildings, trees, and the Rocky Mountains.
Courtesy of Skip Stewart
Colorado Village Collaborative has operated a Safe Outdoor Space in a parking lot with a coded-gate entry at Regis University in Denver since June 2021. Residents are served food and have access to restroom and laundry facilities.

As we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans during Black History Month, we’re exploring the impact of a talented and prolific photographer, John Johnson, whose work has left us with powerful images of what life was like for African Americans living in the Great Plains in the early part of the 20th century. Some of Johnson’s work is currently on display in the “Black and White in Black and White” exhibit, now at the Greeley History Museum through May 28th, 2022. To further explore the life, work and legacy of John Johnson, we speak with Dr. Aaron Bryant, a curator of photography and visual culture at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and a fellow with the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress.

Homelessness is a growing problem in many cities across the Mountain West. One potential, albeit partial, solution is in motion around the region. Some communities, including Denver, are setting up their own encampments to provide temporary shelter, as well as restrooms and laundry facilities. For KUNC, Lucia Starbuck brings us a firsthand look at the development of these encampments and how they fit into the longstanding issue of homelessness.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). Web was edited by digital operations manager Ashley Jefcoat.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

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