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Amanda Williams

Neighbors gathered this week at the “Blooming in Bronzeville” block party to greet the bloom of 100,000 bright red tulips planted last fall by MacArthur Fellow and artist Amanda Williams. Part of of her “Redefining Redlining” installation, they were planted on a vacant lot that had once been a residential unit that was torn down due to redlining. “I am inspired by the idea of ‘me to we,’” Williams says in a release. “This installation started as an idea by a single person, but it then touches other people and becomes something that together we all enjoy.” She says that “the narrative on the South Side too frequently focuses on what is lacking, but she hopes to show that, with action, neighbors can work together to highlight what’s beautiful and to be intentional about artful development.”

Ghian Foreman, president and CEO of the Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, says that “with the opening of the Obama Presidential Center not too far away, [we] see our community differently. Rather than seeing vacant lots merely as a hindrance, this installation and the beautification work we’re doing with Terra Firma allows us to see vacant lots as an asset that can be developed for community wealth and benefit.”

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