Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert -- of the now-famous $100 house piece in the New York Times
-- formed a nonprofit organization, Power House Productions
, to develop and implement stabilization strategies in their Detroit neighborhood just north of Hamtramck. They focus on integrating artist live/work spaces and using art and cultural resources to revitalize the area.
Part of their strategy is connecting people that want to move or return to Detroit with available real estate
-- with the heartfelt caveat that: Detroit is a beautiful, strong and passionate city, but it is also unpredictable and aggressive and therefore must be handled with the proper tools and caution. If moving to Detroit is done with good intent and care, the experience of living in Detroit can be amazing and profound, like no other, yet you will most likely at some point get scratched and hurt but you must not run. Instead stand your ground and try again. If you stick it out and your relationship with this fine city grows into a healthy one you will love Detroit but you will also hate it too, it's only natural. That is why we think it is the greatest place to live. It's a very real place.
Despite -- or perhaps because of -- such advice, their efforts are gaining traction. People are moving to their little neck of the woods. Change is visible.
A newcomer to the Power House program is Juxtapoz Magazine
, a San Francisco-based art magazine. They've bought four homes in the area with plans to rehab them to livable standards.
For the next couple of weeks the houses will serve as canvases and installation space for six artists: Swoon, Ben Wolf, Monica Canilao, RETNA, Saelee Oh, and Richard Colman. Juxtapoz
plans to create a "recurring cycle" of artists coming to the houses "to build and develop an artistic community and residency program to promote creativity and participation in the re-imagining of America's urban neighborhoods."
funded its participation in Power House via a benefit art show and auction held late last year. Follow "Live in Detroit" here
Model D will continue to cover this story, so check back.
Source: Gina Reichert, Power House Productions, Juxtapoz
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh