I'm a huge fan of public art, and think it is great that money is being put towards these particular sites, not only because of thier location but also for the old residents that want to return.
I think it's most important to incorporate the old community in the new art projects. After reading a few articles about the tearing down of Memphis' projects, I learned that many of the old residents missed the sense of community they had in the projects and expressed a feeling of being pushed out, and not welcome back. (i think so far something like 5% of people dislocated from projects being torn down have moved back once the area was turned into nicer living) If we expect the old residents to want to return, I think we should give them more input into these art projects. You must ensure that the final product is welcoming, and something old residents can feel a part of. I worry that if people do not devote enough time and effort to these projects to make them location and community-specific that many old residents may return and not receive the sense of home the city is trying to create for them.
In essense, I just hope these funds aren't going toward another peice of crap statue; these communites (not to mention the locations) really deserve something better.
By Jackson Baker
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