Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vote now!

The next Dwelling on Waste project - Spencer's Art House - in Flint, MI needs your help.

Spencer's Art House and Carriage Town Historic Neighborhood Association are in the running for $5 million in grants. Awards are determined by public vote, so take 30 seconds to cast your votes and share with friends:

Chase Bank users can cast an additional vote here: chase.com/chasegiving

The pitch:

What was known in the late 1800’s as the carriage capitol of the country and in the 1950’s as a bustling automotive city, Flint is now transformed again. The collapse of the automotive industry has led to a severe economic decline, with sprawl, depopulation, and abandonment quickly following. The number one most desirable city to live in has become one of the most violent in the country in a matter of just 50 years.

Decentralization of city centers is becoming a more pervasive issue throughout the world. Abandonment. Depreciated property values. Arson. Drug trade. Loss of morale and of community. With economic decline almost across the board, people are finding themselves ill-equipped to upkeep their homes and their communities.

The Carriage Town Historic Neighborhood Association is collaborating with the Flint Public Art Project to renovate an abandoned home in the city’s oldest neighborhood as a community space – using an imaginative rebuilding process. Led by architect Andrew Perkins, we are working with prominent artists, local businesses and non-profits, and city officials to reimagine the historic Spencer’s Mortuary as a community center and art space. Steps from a Native American burial ground, blocks from the birthplace of the American auto industry, and halfway between two universities, Spencer’s Art House will become a beacon of this re-emerging city.

We want this process to be as environmentally friendly as it is socially responsible, so every effort is being made to use as many recycled and reclaimed materials as possible. Working together with local demolition companies we can keep material costs low and more debris out of the landfills. Funds from Chase Community Giving will go toward some of these major renovation tasks, as well as installing renewable energy systems and sponsoring some of the many public workshops expected in the coming months.

With your help, Spencer’s will become a model for revitalization which is accessible to cities globally. The goal is not just to rebuild the community, but to progressively reinvent it as one which is socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable while hanging on to all of its historic significance, charm and beauty.

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