Scott Andrew Hutchins is the second and last son to Jim (James Frederick) and Judy Paynton Hutchins, high school sweethearts from Bloomfield, New Jersey (Jim having relocated from Springfield, Massachusetts, as a small child), born January 2, 1976. He was born at the West 86th Street building of the recently relocated St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, his brother having been born in the previous location at Capitol Avenue and Fall Creek Parkway. He was named after Scott Hummell, a nurse-anesthetist with who Jim was friends while a medic in the U.S. Air Force in 1961-62. He has no known relationship with any other Scott Hutchins apart from the son of his father's estranged brother, Clark. Jim, by this time, was a biochemist at the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company, and just prior to Scott's birth, they had moved from a house on Dellzell Drive to a two-story ranch home at 8754 Brinwood Drive in Nora, once an independent town but annexed by the City of Indianapolis in 1970 under the Unigov program, wanting to ensure that Scott and his older brother, Jim (James William), would be educated in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, which was considered to be of far better quality than Indianapolis Public Schools, the school district for the Dellzell Drive address.
He was baptized that July 11 at Northminster Presbyterian Church, but his only memory of the place is that the Pokey Little Puppy wall hangings were arranged differently from the same decor in his bedroom. His parents would join the Unity Church of Indianapolis in 1980, which he would officially join when he was 21 (1997).
He was an early reader: when his nursery school teachers realized he could read, the teachers pulled him aside at free time to read from Fun with Dick and Jane, which he found extremely tedious. He wasn't quick to tell his parents he could read because he didn't want them to stop reading to him, which they ultimately were mote hesitant to once they knew. His favorite book from childhood was the Wonder Books abridgment of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrated by Tom Sinnickson. When he entered kindergarten at Nora Elementary School, he was evaluated to be of above average intellect based in his ability to read and to assemble a cartoon of a guy robbing a house in the correct sequence. Often causing trouble from boredom, they had him stay in from recess with a fifth grader named Cam on a project to make a buzzer from tacks, paper clips, a nail, and copper wire. They got it to work only briefly after a lot of trial and error. The buzzer remained in his possession for most of his childhood life, even though the tacks went right through the baseboard, and he didn't get to keep the large battery that powered it. He also spent portions of the day in Mrs. Donnegan's first grade class. When he officially reached first grade, he rarely saw Mrs. Donnegan but was assigned to Mrs. Lloyd, who had been transferred from the closed Delaware Trails Elementary School. She found him a troublemaker and often punished him for things other students did, but his high academic achievement got him sent to second grade reading and spelling with Mrs. Sorrell, and the whole class went to Mr. Tincher (his brother's favorite teacher, who would later join the Unity church before becoming an early AIDS casualty) after the first semester. He was also sent to Mrs. Martindale's gifted and talented class, which was normally only for students in grades 2 through 5. To the relief of Nora's principal, who had paddled him four times throughout the school year, he had been accepted into an experimental school, Grandview Elementary School, which used a trial program called Individually Guided Education (IGE), which was in effect at only one other Washington Township School (Greenbrier). This school taught children in small groups based on placement tests. It was a good thing, too, because, while he placed into third grade level reading, he did not place in the third grade level for math. Much of the problem was likely related to his father's diagnosis with polycythemia rubra vera, the fallout from which led to his father being fired from Lilly, moving into a much smaller townhouse in Nora Pines, his father attempting and being swindled by partners at multiple small nutritional supplement businesses (including developing, but never owning, the Isotonix brand, the formula for which David Keller claimed in a print interview he had "stumbled upon"), ultimately putting the family at an income level that they were poor enough to qualify for the free school lunch program.
Among his classmates was future M.I.T. chemistry professor Troy Van Voorhis, with whom he alternated rounds as star player for the Academic Pursuit team at Northview Middle School, members of which received a plaque for an undefeated season despite consistently falling out of tournaments early. Scott got stitches (seven) for the first time when he was forced to take an industrial arts class he particularly disliked and slashed his finger with an X-acto knife trying to complete a project. That finger remains extremely sensitive to this day. When he began middle school, his mother began taking courses at Indiana Vocational Technical College, later officially named after its abbreviation, Ivy Tech State College (housed in the same facade as St. Vincent's at Capitol and Fall Creek Parkway), with a goal of pursuing a career as a speech and hearing pathologist, but his father's struggling income led her to accept a secretarial job on the campus where she remained until retiring in her early sixties. The salary from the job paid for the family's new house at 1504 East 83rd Street, a house built by J. Everett Light Career Center students on property contiguous with the campuses of Northview Middle School and North Central High School, from which Scott graduated in 1994. She would live in this house until her death in 2017.
Upon graduation, he attended Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Zoology and Advanced Biology being his best classes, he enrolled in biology courses for majors in spite of the advice of his guidance counselor, who noted his math SAT score, at 490, was quite average, especially when compared to his 620 verbal score that got many small liberal arts colleges sending him brochures. He wanted to please his parents and live at home, but ultimately failed genetics and microbiology and got a D in ecology, which were all mostly centered on mathematical formulas, and he had barely passed college algebra. After five years with full semesters and another year part-time, he completed a double major in communication studies and English with a film concentration, spurred on by his experiences in high school creative writing class with Tony Armstrong and film study with Freddi Stevens-Jacobi. His principal professors were Dr. Dennis Bingham, Dr. William Touponce, and Dr. Kristine Brunovska Karnick.
After college, he sought work at all the local television and film production companies, but few considered interviewing him. He developed an interest and theatre and wrote several screenplays and plays, including an unauthorized adaptation of Monster in My Pocket that the rights holders claimed that they wanted to read only to ultimately decline, a quasi-contemporary film version of William Shakespeare's The Life of Timon of Athens inspired by Julie Taymor's Titus, and three stage plays, the original semi-autobiographical What Killed Bartók, the title referring to his father's polycythemia, but also called for many Béla Bartók pieces to be used as score (to which he added a third as he adapted it to a screenplay and submitted it to Project: Greenlight), and Misused Minds: Curse of the Educated Youth, loosely based on his struggles to find anything but low wage temp work with his degree, but making the principal characters young women to make it less autobiographical than the previous play and make casting easier, and a chambre theatre adaptation of L. Frank Baum short stories and poetry called Away from the Prosaic Gas-Light (the title derived from an explanatory comment from Baum's poetry collection, By the Candelabra's Glare). He then was hired by the local PBS station to make a spot for their award-winning magazine series, Across Indiana.
After three years of struggling to find reliable work that paid well enough to move out of his parents' house, or agents or producers willing to read his scripts, he was finally accepted into a graduate cinema program at The College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, lured by the false promise that academic courses could be supplemented by production courses for graduate credit--most production and studies programs he found were completely divorced from one another, and the production programs at Ohio University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale had rejected him based on the poor image quality of Bonnie Williams's rough cut of his 1998 college short film, The Quest for _____, which he had had no input in editing. While living in Staten Island, he joined Unity of New York's choir, and became a legal member of the church the following year--the bylaws requiring a membership course and nine months of attendance before joining.
He earned his master's degree in 2005, but his professors had begun giving him poorly explained B+s in his second year and ignored his e-mails and voice mails for letters of recommendation to Ph.D. film programs, the twelve of which in the U.S. (Brown, NYU, University of Rochester, IU, Northwestern, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Iowa, University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley) all demand at least two and sometimes three letters from someone with familiarity with one's graduate work.
Commencement was on June 2, 2005. On June 15, 2005, he awoke unable to sit up in bed due to extreme pain in his lower back and had to crawl to where his cell phone was charging to call 911 for an ambulance. He had been having chronic foot pain since his late teens (ultimately identified as chronic tendinosis and muscuar atrophy via MRI in February 2020, previously identified as plantar fasciitis in 2011 and only allowed to get an MRI after treatments kept failing) and had worked in call centers in his undergraduate years, but now he was being diagnosed with scoliosis, L4-L5, S-1 and cervical herniated discs, and sciatica. He was advised to give up pain killers as soon as he could handle the pain, which he did, but at a cost that he often needed a cane to stand and walk.
The very month he earned his master's degree, he was on public assistance, and that set the tone for much of his life to come. After over a year of enduring the 29 cents per hour slave labor of the Work Experience Program, where he did filing work for Housing Works Thrift Shops offices in Greenwich Village and near Penn Station, he missed an appointment and was forced to begin again on welfare, which is father demanded that he get, even though it was a mere $45 a month, or his father would stop paying the rent on his apartment that he had been paying since the student loans to pay for it were no longer being received. He applied for Disability, but the Social Security Administration said that he could work a desk job and did not meet their standards as disabled. His resume was soon found by David Blumenthal of DOTmed.com, and for the next year. he was typing dictation for the president of the company. A better proofreader than typist, he would often be demanded to not take the time to proofread, then be scolded for the results. The marketing director saw his writing talent, and the finance director, the president's wife, was impressed by his intelligence and pressed him to keep Scott on writing for the website and magazine, but the president's emotions got the better of him.
In September 2007, Scott got a call about a potential paid screenwriting gig. Although it ultimately fell through, he hadn't called his father in four days (the previous Sunday), so he phoned to tell him the good news. To his surprise, his mother picked up. His father had urged him not to tell anything to his mother but to tell it to him because and bad news to her would result in an emotional outburst without his father's technique for finessing it to her. Jim had been in rehab for negative reactions to his medication when his polycythemia had led to myelofibrosis, one of three common results (Bartók, in fact, died from one of the others, leukemia) and had caught pneumonia while he was there. Jim was too weak to talk to Scott very long, so Scott mostly spoke to his mother. The next day, while Scott was sitting at his desk at DOTmed, his brother Jim called to tell him that his dad had passed away that morning. He was allowed to leave work early without any effect on his pay, but a jumper from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge had stopped all traffic, and his mourning with his mother over the phone occurred on a bus stopped in traffic in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, creating a scene.
He was let go the following February for not coming in early enough when his boss said to come in early but refused to specify what time. He was immediately picked up to do some freelance writing for a 12th Street clinic called Always Your Choice, then tutored and taught English composition for a semester at Boricua College, but he was paid $30 an hour for the two and a half hours the class was in session, so he was living off the life insurance money he had received when his father died.
He was cast in the Brooklyn Repertory Opera's production of Beethoven's Fidelio as one of the chorus, in late 2007. His father was more enthusiastic about it than he was, even though he was already in the church choir, and it wasn't a paying gig. The memorial service occurred during the run of the show, and he worked out his trip so that he was able to attend the performance as well as speak and sing at his father's memorial, which was on his father's 66th birthday. He felt from his father's enthusiasm (his father had twice directed him to auditions for the Metropolitan Opera chorus, but he was not selected) made it important for him to do both. His family had always been musical. Both Jims played percussion in school band; Judy had been a drum majorette and played flute and piano. Scott had begged for piano lessons but was given only course books to attempt to teach himself. In the next show, Cavalleria Rusticana, Scott tripped on uneven sidewalk going to a mandatory appointment at the unemployment office l and cut his chin badly enough to need stitches, but showed up to performances with a bandage on his chin and was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty on two shows in a row (the prize was a unique T-shirt with Frank Liska's poster design ghoulishly depicting the wounded ear, which ironically was replaced with pushing a wine bottle to the sternum in the final staging). He was then asked to play Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, bass soloist in Orpheus and Eurydice, and, most challenging of all, the Lackey in Ariadne auf Naxos. Susan Stoderl, the composer in residence (whose operas cast women only), mentioned the brief ten-line role in her review as a highlight and said that Scott had shown significant growth with the company. He was then cast as Yvan in Die Fledermaus, but the company did only one additional show, Il Tabarro, in which he did not appear, before folding.
During down time as a tutor at Boricua College, he banged out a scenario for an idea for an opera he first had while watching Madama Butterfly in 2001, based on the Marvel comic book, The Man-Thing. He had been conversing with writer Steve Gerber online for a while. Gerber had been burned on the terrible film adaptations of Howard the Duck and The Man-Thing that had been reputedly based on his work but bore little resemblance to anything that he had written, he was decrying adaptation in general and thought authors' works should be left alone. Gerber passed away in February of 2008, and Scott felt the inkling that his idea for a very close adaptation of opera wouldn't be offensive to Gerber's memory. He began composing it over the next few years, and that work in progress can be heard here. He fully realizes he could be burned as easily as he was with Monster in My Pocket, but as he is self-taught as a composer, he figures making his mistakes on something he can't use might be better than starting on some of his other ideas for operas just yet.
Between the loss of a car in 2006 and mentions of his Staten island address as reasons to not hire him in his rare interviews, and pushed on by death threats from an upstairs neighbor who wanted bribes, he moved to the Bronx in 2010, but after obtaining nothing but tutoring work that he often wasn't paid for by the tutoring service if the student wasn't home at the appointed time, by 2011 he found himself in housing court because he had run out of his inheritance. He had attempted to invest it in a money market account, but the need to pay rent made that account a liability once it fell below the thousand dollar minimum. A friend tried to make work for him proofreading the liner notes and doing video editing at her small jazz and world music label, Motéma Music, but after three months, he had really done anything she could think of that wasn't apportioned to other people, and had to lay him off, making the one-shot deal he got to pay the remainder of his past due rent a moot point. One of the only other offers he got was the AFLAC scam that Barbara Ehrenreich covers in such similar detail in her book, Bait & Switch, that it makes little sense to discuss it here.
Almost immediately, one of his fellow CSI graduate students offered to make him his assistant at his film company, but it required a relocation to Jacksonville, Florida. Unable to pay for a MetroCard and squatting in his apartment watch Tim Pool's livecasts of Occupy Wall Street and wishing he could go, he made the arrangements, but had to endure a three-month probationary period with all his property in storage and a crabby landlady who expressed her dislike for him and the two successive male tenants in a larger room only to be let go as soon as the probationary period was over. After returning the company vehicle he was using, with which he had helped Occupy Jacksonville break down their encampment, he was soon on a bus back to New York with some severance money marked "charity" in the memo line. While there, he had joined Unity of Jacksonville and several Occupy working groups, marching with them using his cane on May Day 2012. Not having slept in two days and with no apartment to return to, he was soon swindled, but his mother, who refused to take him in, was willing to replenish the lost money. The cops were convinced from his bleary eyes from two days straight without removing his contact lenses that he was a homeless drug addict. They were right on only the first half. He wasn't using recreational drugs and was often forgetting to take the one medication for his physical symptoms he was prescribed.
Scott slept on the 6 train the next several nights before a friend let him sleep on her yoga mat and use her shower. He showed up for David Friedman's Thought Exchange class as he had so often before the move, but some of the women thought that he smelled too much. He had been wearing the same clothes for days. Another friend took him to Connecticut to sleep in one of the rooms of the large house his mother owned, but family was coming for Memorial Day weekend, and they didn't know him, so he made Scott check into the Bellevue men's intake homeless shelter, which began a long, continuous shelter system stay because no one knew how to help someone whose physical limitations their own doctors were forced to admit.
Using public library computers, he began earnestly updating his blog, , which he had set up because someone wanted help with WordPress, and he wanted to familiarize himself with it. One of his earliest posts was "Getting Ready for Jacksonville." He became seriously involved with activism with Picture the Homeless and two active Occupy groups, Occu-Evolve and Alternative Banking, which are still both active as of December 2019. His first year at Picture the Homeless, he was given a certificate honoring him as a "Crusading Journalist" for his exposure of conditions in the shelter system. He was a major contributor to their 2018 white paper, "The Business of Homelessness," and helped to develop the popular education materials for the New York City Community Land Initiative, including handouts, the comicbook, Fighting to Save Our Communities, and the educational board game, Trustville (it was his idea to name one of the characters Rosemary, probably not long after seeing the film version of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying). As a representative of Picture the Homeless, he has spoken before New York City Council numerous times, has met with city and state elected officials or their staff, and was invited by the Green Party to run for elected office. Realizing his agreements with their platform, he has run for State Assembly District 47 (2016), New York City Council District 35 (2017), and United States House of Representatives New York District 12 (2018). The Waldo Hutchins who held that seat in the 1880s is his eighth cousin five times removed, but their common ancestor is not a Hutchins, but Robert Peck, who is also his closest known blood connection to Robert Maynard Hutchins of the University of Chicago (something several people have asked him about given the proximity of Indianapolis and Chicago). In his Assembly and Congressional runs, he got percentages comparable to other Green candidates and pushed incumbent Carolyn Maloney to co-sponsor the ultimately unsuccessful bill to stop funding the Yemen war, which she did two days after the debate was taped. When he ran for City Council, the Department of Homeless Services transferred him to a district that already had a Green candidate in Jabari Brisport. This resulted in a rare Green Party primary election in which Brisport ultimately won. It brought greater publicity to the Green Party, and Hutchins publicly endorsed Brisport's candidacy after losing.
Scott has held numerous temporary and freelance jobs while shelter homeless, including with R.L. Migdal Creative Multimedia, Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Examinations Unit, D.F. King Teleservices, Colorado Spaces Institute, and R.I.P. Medical Debt.
He remains a leader in Picture the Homeless, Occupy, and the New York City Homeless Union. He currently serves as Picture the Homeless's representative on the Public Bank New York City Coalition and works with Neighbors Together to improve New York City's failed voucher program for homeless individuals and families. He has yet to find housing with a voucher because the price cap is well below market rate.
He is still working on his opera, and plans his next play to be a musical based on his experiences he has had in the shelter system and the corruption of of its service providers that he observed and helped prove with "The Business of Homelessness."
In 2020, he was the Green candidate for New York State Assembly District 54, presumably facing incumbent Democrat Erik Martin Dilan, against whom Picture the Homeless and Occupy Wall Street had a sleepout in 2012 for failing to move the vacant property count bill out of the New York City Council Housing and Buildings Committee, which he chaired at the time.  His 4.25% was recognized as the highest percentage of any Green Party candidate in New York State.
Through the efforts of Craig Hughes, a social worker with the Urban Justice Center, he moved out of the shelter system and into a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn paid for by the New York City Human Resources Administration as part of their effort to clear the homeless shelters as breeding grounds for COVID-19. His CityFHEPS voucher was enhanced by Housing Preservation and Development because the apartment is a homeless set-aside in a building that is under the 421-a program.
(This is based mostly from information gleaned off the Internet, including Wikitree, Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage, FamousKin, etc., and in a few cases, from the books of Jack Randolph Hutchins, and may or may not be verifiable. Inclusion of political figures is NOT an endorsement of their views. Favorites are in bold.)
(not by marriage)
(either could not find or traced back to "unknown" without connecting)
Scott is 21 degrees from John James Audubon, 20 degrees from Jacques-Yves Cousteau, 34 degrees from Gerald Durrell, 18 degrees from Dian Fossey, 24 degrees from Steve Irwin, 34 degrees from Ernest Just, 27 degrees from Ian Player, 24 degrees from Peter Scott, 30 degrees from Antoon van Hooff and 21 degrees from Marta Johnson on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.