Friday, May 13, 2011

Brightening a Corner Can Be Just the Beginning

Today in Jackson Ward, where I work, there was a gigantic crew of people volunteering all around the neighborhood to pretty it up. I walked out the back door of my building to find our stairwell had been power-washed and was now being weatherproofed by the volunteers. Then I came around to the front of the building to see a team weeding, mulching and planting flowers!

This is a great neighborhood absolutely rich with black history, and I am fascinated by the stories and the characters and the architecture. But it is also still very much on it's way up, but not "there" yet. I don't exactly know what I mean when I say "there." There is a lot of gentrification happening here, and I don't always look upon that favorably, especially if it displaces poor people. But I digress...

I am just happy to see some loving care directed at anything and everything around here. I find that brightening up one corner can change the direction of a whole neighborhood. Case in point is this huge mural that's being painted at West Broad and Brook and Adams, right by Theatre IV.

This empty corner had nothing to offer but two walls, a phone booth and a bunch of garbage. Now it's going to house a work of public art that celebrates the beautiful fabric of this neighborhood--something that everybody can enjoy, young and old, rich and poor.

Perhaps this will inspire more acts of artistic sharing here in our promising gallery district. I can't wait to see it finished and to post a picture!

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