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When the going gets tough, the artists get creative in Cleveland

Everyone knows about the troubles Cleveland and Detroit are facing due to vacant and abandon properties. However, the news often forgets to highlight the innovative practices people are employing in order to fix the situation. On Friday, The Wall Street Journal decided to focus on one of the many positive activities that artists are doing to restore prosperity to these hurting cities in the article Artists vs. Blight Artists in Cleveland have decided to look at vacant properties as an opportunity to create galleries and creative workspace at an affordable price. "n neighborhoods pocked by vacancies, artists have started filling the void. Last November, Katherine Chilcote, a local painter, bought a boarded-up, bank-owned house for $5,000 in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, where one in four family homes has gone into foreclosure in the last three years. Thieves had stolen the doors, punched out windows and ripped out all the pipes, sinks and electrical wiring. Eight cats had moved in.

The 29-year-old artist and four friends spent months ripping up moldy carpet, laying down new tiles and hardwood floors, repairing walls and stripping peeling paint. She bought the empty, weed-filled lot next door for $500. She plans to build a sculpture garden there, with large, whimsical mobiles that twist in the breeze. She's applying for grant money from the Cleveland Foundation to turn four more vacant houses in the neighborhood into artist residences and studios." Read the entire article

Although times appear desperate at the moment, it is important to get site of the opportunities available in times of distress and follow the example of innovative people such as the artists in Cleveland, Ohio.

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