It’s been almost ten years since I’ve been in Detroit, and I *so* wish I’d taken pics of the Heidelberg Project – it’s described at their website this way:
Using art to provoke thought, promote discussion, inspire action and heal communities…
The Heidelberg Project is art, energy, and community. It’s an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community on Detroit’s East Side. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 24th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives.
The Heidelberg Project offers a forum for ideas, a seed of hope, and a bright vision for the future. It’s about taking a stand to save forgotten neighborhoods. It’s about helping people think outside the box and it’s about offering solutions. It’s about healing communities through art – and it’s working!
It’s a 501(c)(3) and it gets more than 275,000 visitors annually. Here’s why people love to see it:
Like so many art environments, Tyree Guyton’s project (which he began in 1986) hasn’t always been met with open arms by city government – in fact, twice it has been partially demolished by the City of Detroit. Thanks to a civil lawsuit brought against the city, a judge later determined that the H/P is now protected by the 1st Amendment as free speech as an art environment.
A couple of years ago, the Detroit paper did a piece on Chazz Miller whose Public Art Workz is beautifying blighted areas with murals, gardens, and more – last year his project was to paint 1000 butterflies all over the city.