A philosophy in action!
Projects August - September
Creative Placemaking is more than a philosophy at Barrio. On paper, creative placemaking means reclaiming abandoned and disinvested spaces utilizing art programs. In action, this means working closely with neighbors in the South of Penn and the Iron Playground areas to make sure these places are reignited with life.
Transforming a space typically means displacing blight, and this forces blight to push back. We have been learning through patience and resilience that art has the power to transform those forces into positive outcomes.
One of our main beliefs is that creative placemaking and neighborhood empowerment go hand in hand in order to ensure ownership of spaces. Once a person feels they own a space, they start taking care of it, and soon relationships and roots are stablished.
Our process begins by engaging neighbors through surveys or neighborhood meetings to find out their perceptions of a particular space.
What happens after varies: we run further meetings, empower neighbors through trainings, or work on neighborhood analysis devices.
Finally, we begin implementing projects that align with their vision. Neighbors are invited to be part of this process from the beginning.
Why art? Art is how we have naturally done it because that is how we began. And we found that art is able to build quicker bridges and connects people in a more meaningful way respecting a community's makeup, culture, and history.
However, we are working on different methods and issues in response to current events.
Our Creative Placekeeping efforts in the South of Penn and Reading Iron Playground are made possible by the generous support of the Wyomissing Foundation, and supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Come ready to make and take art with you. At Barrio, we believe in creating together and owning what we create!
Photography and videography is encouraged.
Please use #barrioalegria
so we can find the pictures!
If you would like to lead a workshop, please send us a note and we will get back to you to schedule a workshop!