Connecting Through Art Fence Project
The historic Mill City neighborhood is located south of Fair Park, the home of the Texas State Fair, the Cotton Bowl, and a number of museums and historic buildings. Over the past decade, Dallas Habitat has worked with the City of Dallas, Dallas Housing Authority, Innercity Community Development Corporation, and the Mill City Neighborhood Association to revitalize the neighborhood.
The Connecting Through Art project created an opportunity for local students to beautify their neighborhood by painting fence panels that were then installed on several vacant lots in Mill City. Habitat staff built and delivered 23 fence panels, paint and paint brushes to 7 local schools where the students then painted the panels under the direction of their art department. Staff and supporters from Habitat, the City of Dallas, DISD, Lowe’s, AT&T, MESA and members of the local community then gathered to dedicate the painted fence and to award the winners of the art contest, with the 2016 Grand Prize going to Billy E. Dade Middle School.
JOPPA - A BRUSH WITH KINDNESS
ABWK / HILTI PROJECT
The Joppa neighborhood sits just north of the intersection of I-45 and Highway 12, nestled next to the Great Trinity Forest, the Trinity River and Joppa Preserve.
This neighborhood was originally settled by freedmen in the late 1860s. Some 15 years ago, Joppa community leaders approached Dallas Habitat in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood. As part of these efforts, Dallas Habitat came together with HILTI North America for an A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) project. Dallas Habitat’s ABWK program provides a way for existing homeowners to help preserve their homes and participate in the transformation of their neighborhood through the use of volunteer labor and donated materials. During this one-day ABWK project, 400 plus Habitat and HILTI volunteers and staff provided exterior repairs including painting, fencing, lot mitigation and work in the community garden.
COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT
Many of the neighborhoods with which Dallas Habitat partners are located in food deserts, or urban areas in which affordable, high quality and fresh foods are difficult to find. To combat this issue, the A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) program has incorporated the establishment of community gardens into its scope of work. Community gardens can be found in both Joppa and Mill City neighborhoods.
CONNECTING THROUGH ART OSB PROJECT
Inspired by the tradition of volunteers writing well-wishes to families inside the walls of their new homes – most often with a simple permanent black marker – the OSB project allows youth to design and paint sheets of OSB plywood that are then installed in a partner family’s house. The boards often include colorful, eye-catching messages of encouragement. Not only a creative outlet for youth, this project provides students with a platform to discuss issues surrounding poverty, housing equity and the importance of volunteerism and civic engagement.