Part two of the work table involves the foreclosure quilts. At some point, I thought I was finished with the quilts. The fact is, the crisis continues. But there's something new in the equation. What happens to the neighborhoods after the storm has passed over? It seems most cities are still grappling with this problem.
The research I've uncovered makes me realize that there needs to be more help at the federal level provided to these areas. Sure, the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grants have helped. But there needs be more bigger picture thinking. Each city is certainly different and requires different solutions but I'm not seeing much communication happening between cities and states about next steps. We can learn from each other, we can share our mistakes to ensure other cities don't make the same ones.
I starting thinking about this when I started working on a museum commission of a Flint, MI neighborhood. An hour away, Detroit is rapidly encouraging urban gardening on abandoned lots to ensure good quality vegetables and fruits to local residents. Urban gardens encourage community building while decreasing crime as more eyes are on the street. It can bring income into communities as well. It seems in Flint, people are having to go to battle with the City to farm the vacant land. Flint River Farm's process was documented last year in this video. Here's a little clip below.
So I continue to make the quilts, hoping that I can make at least one that shows new thinking over the old abandoned lots. If you know of an area that has bounced back, I'd love to share it. The quilts will be shown all together this June at Gallery Nord in San Antonio, TX in conjunction with the Surface Design Conference, Interface.