August 2011 Archives

There is a growing body of research and hands-on work in the area of art-making, neighborhood development and community engagement.  In that vein, I wanted to share a story from Madison's 77 Square (by my journalistic compadre Lindsay Christians) about an innovative street art camp for teens.

The camp, run by Drew Garza and Scott Pauli (who have a local design business, Art & Sons) and co-conceptualized with Phil Busse, teaches kids cutting-edge skills in computer-aided graphic design, yet also uses old-fashioned paste-up techniques on the sides of local buildings.

At the same time the kids are building technical skills, they're expressing themselves and engaging with thorny social issues like racism and environmental damage--issues raised by the teens themselves, not foisted on them by adults.  As one of the kids quoted says, "Don't be scared. Just show yourself, be yourself."  To encourage people to seek out these works, an art "scavenger hunt" was organized.

The article, with accompanying video, is definitely worth a read.  Hats off to Busse, Garza and Pauli for designing such an intriguing program for teens, and to the City of Madison for helping support it through a BLINK! grant (small grants for temporary art projects).
August 19, 2011 9:37 AM | | Comments (1)
A friend in Ypsilanti, Mich., tipped me off to this post on a site called Model D by Sarah F. Cox.  In it, Cox, a former New Yorker who earned an MFA in design criticism, details the reasons for her move from NYC to Detroit.  A brief excerpt:

So it's onto the (erstwhile) Motor City and back to car life, where I'm hoping cheaper real estate and a growing creative community will make all the difference. While the cost of gas and carbon-footprint guilt loom, I've been won over by the arts. In Detroit, you can afford to do what you really want and will likely find a community of support rooting for you to succeed instead.

While I'm sure some may dismiss Cox as naive, I like her hopeful tone and her desire to be part of something positive and growing in a beleaguered city.  Cities are a lot like people:  they need someone to believe in them, and I think optimistic, creative young people moving to Detroit can only be a good thing.

As a former Michigander, I wish Cox well, and I'll stay tuned to see how things develop for her.  If you're so inclined, you can follow her on Twitter here.

Again, here's the link to Cox's post:  "Imported to Detroit"
August 9, 2011 2:25 PM | | Comments (1)

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2011 is the previous archive.

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