Why not? Vacant and blighted houses as art

workhouse1Abandoned houses litter the Prospect corridor but seven will soon look better, artistic even.

That’s because door-sized painted art panels unveiled Saturday will soon go up on them. Then painted art boards will also go on two windows in each of the seven houses.

About 50 area youth worked with artist mentors for weeks to create the door panels shown at a Saturday ceremony at the Workhouse Castle at 2100 Vine Street.

workhouse-3Besides engaging youth in art and the community, said police Sgt. Garrik Haynes, “We want people to come look at the art, which will draw more attention to the houses and hopefully reduce crime at abandoned properties.”

Part of a $1 million federal grant to the Kansas City No Violence Alliance pays for the Prospect Corridor Community Safety Vision project. It covers an area from 25th to 39th streets, Paseo to Indiana – a 2.15 square-mile area that is among the most violent in the city.

The corridor project – designed to deter violence and bring neighborhoods together – includes a neighborhood accountability board made up of residents.

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, also a partner in the art component of the project, gave the youth involved scholarships to attend its workshops.

The youth were from within the project area and the neighborhood board will select which vacant houses get the art.

Addresses of the abandoned houses turned into art statements will be released later.

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