Students to Beautify Vacant Chicago Real Estate

May 25, 2011

Some Chicago students are using art to help sell a vacant Chicago home.

More than 100 students and community members in eight grade schools, high schools and nonprofit organizations in the North Lawndale, South Lawndale and East Garfield neighborhoods began painting boards this week after nine months of planning by creators of the program Art Forward.

The volunteers are painting the boards in themes such as “silence the violence, increase the peace,” “heart of the city” and “start a new life,” and the art will help create a positive impact on a vacant North Lawndale home for sale by the NHS Redevelopment Corporation, the real estate development arm of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

“We decided to use art as a powerful community development tool to get people thinking creatively,” said Ife Williams, the creator of Art Forward. “We’re empowering people to express themselves and to work together. With art, there is no right or wrong.”

The student’s chance to beautify a vacant home has been made possible through their participation through Art Forward’s “See Me Better,” a new community-based art program created by NHS of Chicago and other nonprofit organizations.

Since last January, the students have been meeting weekly to plan for the murals and learn about concept development.

The art they create will blanket boards used to secure the vacant home, located in the 1500 block of South Kedvale in Chicago.

A public unveiling is being planned for mid-June. We’ll give you more details when they become available. This definitely seems like a sight worth seeing.

And, hopefully, to one soon-to-be Chicago homeowner, worth buying too.

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