For the past four years, the Rooms to Let program in Slavic Village in Cleveland has been temporarily reimagining vacant single-family homes as art installations. So it only made sense for the Slavic Village Better Block to work in coordination with the Rooms to Let program as part of an overall project in Slavic Village.
In mid-May, team members from Better Block visited Slavic Village in Cleveland to kick off the Slavic Village Better Block. The project, funded by the Cleveland Foundation, will help the community temporarily redesign public spaces in the community as the spaces they’ve always wanted. The kick-off started with a tour of the community led by members of the nonprofit Slavic Village Development, which also runs the Rooms to Let program. Following the tour, our Founding Director Jason Roberts gave a public keynote presentation to community members on the inspiration of Better Block and some of the work we have done.
Following the presentation, we chatted with community members and collected surveys they completed asking them about their community, what they liked, and what they thought was missing. The community’s responses showed that they loved their neighbors and the people of Slavic Village and that they thought there was great potential in the community. When asked what was missing, they said the community lacked social or gathering places and that they wanted more small, local businesses in vacant storefronts.
Over the course of the next two months, we’ll be working with the community to develop a series of interventions tied to the Rooms to Let program that will reimagine public spaces in the community and address some of the issues the community brought up. If you want to know more, or would like to get involved, be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the project’s website here.