Ivy City Artist Selection

See more posts about Crossing the Street and our other work in Washington, DC

The Sanctuaries artists and Empower DC youth community organizers screen print yard signs for residents. Photos (above and below) by Rev. Erik Martinez Resley of The Sanctuaries.

The Sanctuaries artists and Empower DC youth community organizers screen print yard signs for residents. Photos (above and below) by Rev. Erik Martinez Resley of The Sanctuaries.

[bc] with LISC is excited to share the proposal selected for the Crossing the Street: Ivy City project. Crossing the Street: Ivy City is a temporary creative placemaking initiative in northeast Washington, DC. The collaborative team of EmpowerDC , The SanctuariesOpen Studio DC and resident Taylor Johnson have already been hard at work engaging residents in conversations about Ivy City's neighborhood identity and the community's desire for recreational amenities. Their project invites new and old Ivy City residents to customize a sign that expresses what "Ivy City Is" to them as well as to participate in a screenprinting and poetry workshop. The photos of residents with their signs, the poetry developed, and other curated images will be used to develop a large, screen printed installation. This installation will be unveiled at a community event on Saturday, October 29th. Be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook for future updates and opportunities to participate! 

 

Smart Growth for Dallas Phase II

Today the Trust for Public Land, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, and The Texas Trees Foundation presented the initial results of our Smart Growth for Dallas partnership to the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Board. The innovative program uses computer modeling and community engagement to identify areas where parks can grow the local economy, connect communities, improve public health, and protect the city’s most important natural places.

“Considering the environmental, social, and economic challenges we face as a city, the need for parks in Dallas has never been greater,” said Willis Winters, Director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. “Thanks to The Trust for Public Land’s science-based approach, Smart Growth for Dallas is helping build a strategic roadmap for protecting our city’s most important natural places.”

Using sophisticated Geographic Information System (GIS) computer modeling, the Smart Growth for Dallas program has created a series of maps that depict areas of Dallas where parks can cool neighborhoods during summertime heat waves, protect homes from floods, improve the health of nearby residents, build equity in underserved neighborhoods, and connect communities to each other. Through analysis of the data, Smart Growth for Dallas has identified dozens of potential locations across the city for building new parks that can provide these benefits.

“From flood protection to connectivity to health, parks provide a multitude of benefits that directly address Dallas’s biggest economic, social, and environmental challenges. Our mapping and data tools are helping Dallas build smarter parks that realize as many of these benefits as possible,” said Robert Kent, North Texas area director for The Trust for Public Land. “Parks are more than just a nice place to spend a sunny Saturday—they are critical for building a city that is resilient to the challenges of the 21st century.”

The results presented at Thursday’s meeting are the first phase of a two-year effort to develop a new set of strategies to guide future investments in parks, open space, and green infrastructure for Dallas. On Nov. 10, we're launching a series of eight community engagement sessions to hear from Dallas residents about what they want from the city’s park system. The sessions will be held throughout the city.

“Decisions about our parks and open space are so much stronger when they are informed by community members,” says Brent Brown, Founding Director of bcWORKSHOP. “Our community engagement sessions are essential to getting that feedback.”

Over the coming months, the program will expand to include additional data, including results from a landmark new study of the urban heat island effect in Dallas being conducted by The Texas Trees Foundation. “Understanding the relationship between tree canopy, open space, and the urban heat island effect is crucial for building resilience in Dallas,” says Matt Grubisich of the Texas Trees Foundation. “The data we generate in the next six months will provide valuable guidance to the city for how to combat the urban island effect in the neighborhoods where it’s needed most.”

Once complete in 2018, Smart Growth for Dallas will represent the largest and most comprehensive data analysis of the city’s park system every conducted. Results from the program will be available to city staff, public officials, non-profit partners, neighborhood associations, and Dallas residents through an interactive website. The website will feature maps, data visualizations, and storytelling about the important role parks play in building a city that is resilient to the challenges of the 21st century.

In advance of the November 10th launch of the community engagement sessions, the public is encouraged to take an online survey about Dallas’s parks system and signup to receive project updates by visiting www.SmartGrowthForDallas.org.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

Texas Trees Foundation is a private nonprofit dedicated to creating healthy communities by protecting and enhancing the urban forest while investing in people. Established in 1982, the Mission of the Texas Trees Foundation is (i) to preserve, beautify and expand parks and other public natural green spaces, and (ii) to beautify our public streets, boulevards and rights-of-way by planting trees and encouraging others to do the same through educational programs that focus on the importance of building and protecting the “urban forest” today as a legacy for generations to come. www.texastrees.org

Welcome Evan Hildebrand!

Evan Hildebrand

bcFELLOW

Evan Hildebrand is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.  Evan is a part of the People Organizing Place (POP) initiative, working in the Tenth Street Historic District of Dallas on the renovation and programming of a house in the neighborhood as community resource and engagement center.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin and living for the past five years in Minneapolis, MinnesotaEvan has experience working with community-engaged design at a variety of scales, from a small workshop focusing on activating a single vacant lot in a downtown neighborhood, to a field guide examining how public interest design is viewed and practiced across the Twin Cities.

Evan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota’s College of Design.  

Little Free Libraries "Call for Volunteers" event recap

Thank you to all those who could attend the “Call for Volunteers” event for the new phase of  Little Free Libraries commemorating the fallen officers. Those who were unable to attend the event last week, here is a quick recap of the evening and how you get involved!

"Call for Volunteers" event brought together people interested to help design and build 5 little free libraries to commemorate fallen officers

"Call for Volunteers" event brought together people interested to help design and build 5 little free libraries to commemorate fallen officers

The evening began with a brief introduction and history of Little Free Library/ Libros Libres program. This program began three years ago as a collaboration with BigThought and the Dallas Public Library. The current project was introduced by the reading of a letter from donor Helen Stassen, which explained her interest in donating the libraries in memory of the officers. Helen lost her son to gun violence 6 years ago. This tragic loss made her family feel the need to “do something” that would help them remember and heal from the loss. They decided to build a Little Free Library in memory of their son. While keeping the memory of their son alive, the library has helped them connect and contribute to their community. After the July incident in Dallas where five police officers lost their lives, the Stassen family felt the need to do something to help the healing of Dallas community. They hope to do so by donating 5 little free libraries as memorials for the fallen officers. They wish that the Dallas community is able to benefit and heal by helping and contributing to the community through these libraries.

Joli Robinson from Dallas Police, community affairs department spoke about their hopes and the significance of the project as a memorial for the officers. The evening then continued into feedback activities asking the attendees regarding preferred locations for the LFLs in Dallas, hopes and expectations from the project, and stewards,designers and locations suggestions.

 

Few suggestions that emerged through the feedback activity during the event,

“wonderful way to honor the officers on an ongoing basis...another opportunity for communities to come together”

“I think our community will really appreciate having an accessible reminder to the events that transpired - a meaningful place where community can come together”

“Continues community engagement around a positive memorial that gives back to the community”

“it will be seen as a positive way for the communities affected to engage, heal and grow together, in the hope of preventing further violence”

Do share your hopes and expectations from the project.    

 

Between now and 10th September we will be finalizing locations, stewards and designers for the 5 Little Free Libraries. Using the total budget of $3000, volunteer designers, stewards and interested participants from the community will work together to design and build the 5 libraries. If you are interested to be a steward or a designer for one of the 5 little free libraries or would like to suggest locations to host these libraries, please write to us at amruta@bcworkshop.org or call us at 214.252.2900


Here is a brief background and images of the Little Free Library/ Libros Libres project so far.

Little Free Libraries/Libros Libres is a literacy and community design initiative in Dallas that uses free book exchanges to support community and promote a culture of reading. The program has brought together local artists, designers, and community leaders to design and build a range of public outdoor book exchanges in West Dallas, South Dallas/Fair Park, and south Oak Cliff. The design and function of the libraries are site-specific and developed through a collaboration between designers and community leaders. 20 LFL/Libros Libres have been completed. You can read more about the project at lfldallas.org

 

Images of all 20 Little Free Libraries designed under the Little Free Library/ Libros Libres program since 2014

AVAI Artist Proposals

See more posts on AVAI and our work in the RGV.  

Playing with Production: Walking tour Photo by Elaine Morales

Playing with Production: Walking tour

Photo by Elaine Morales

[bc] is excited to share the project proposals for our three Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator Artists-in-Residence. Celeste De Luna, Rigoberto Gonzalez and Nancy Guevara have been hard at work in their studios and throughout the city of Brownsville; meeting local stakeholders, longtime residents, historians and academics. In June & July, they synthesized the knowledge they have collected to generate an exciting series of proposals for projects for the City of Brownsville.

Their projects will unfold from August through November. Learn about each artist’s projects below and join in the workshops and programming that they have designed over the upcoming months. Be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook for future updates and opportunities to participate in forthcoming events!

 

Celeste De Luna (R) sharing her prints and collecting stories about Brownsville with an attendee at Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Celeste De Luna (R) sharing her prints and collecting stories about Brownsville with an attendee at Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Celeste De Luna’s project will center around historical and contemporary narratives of strength and resistance native to the Rio Grande Valley. Over the past months she has identified central figures from Brownsville history, including Americo Paredes and Juan Cortina. In partnership with members of the community, she will work to identify how local stakeholders connect with their stories and collaborate with them to generate visuals representing their own stories of protest.  

De Luna will conduct a series of workshops beginning in August that will include a steamroller printing workshop, a storytelling workshop and a kite making workshop in Lincoln Park. In November she will exhibit 5 large scale prints representative of the stories shared with her by local residents and the history of the region. Prints from the large woodcuts will be wheatpasted throughout the downtown and the final carved blocks will be exhibited at the conclusion of the residency.  

Rigoberto Gonzalez (L) speaking with an attendee and collecting stories about Brownsville with an attendee at Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Rigoberto Gonzalez (L) speaking with an attendee and collecting stories about Brownsville with an attendee at Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Rigoberto Gonzalez will work over the upcoming months on a large scale, moveable mural based upon a series of interviews he will conduct with Brownsville residents. As a longtime resident of the Rio Grande Valley, he is particularly interested in the cultural traditions of the region and the stories that accompany them. At the recent AVAI Open Studio event, Playing with Production, Gonzalez invited attendees to sketch their ideas for the mural and to share stories of their experiences downtown.   

During his forthcoming workshops Gonzalez will hold personal narrative workshops to record oral histories and create portraits of the people whose stories he collects. The recordings will become sound installations to accompany Gonzalez’s murals in filling vacant spaces with the stories of Brownsville.

Nancy Guevara (center) speaking with an  attendees at  Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Nancy Guevara (center) speaking with an  attendees at  Playing with Production, Photo by Tom Hill

Nancy Guevara’s project, Intersections of Transformation on the Border will investigate the experiences that lead people to become activist leaders. Throughout the residency Guevara will work with local women and community leaders to create portraits using fabric from local ropa usada stores that reflect the leaders’ experiences of personal transformation, self-actualization and empowerment. By working closely with community leaders to create designs based on their experiences of struggle and complexity, Guevara hopes to engage aspiring artists and activists in using art as a tool for social justice.

Leading up to the presentation of these works to the public, Guevara will hold a series of workshops and discussions about catalyzing change and cultivation of leadership. Included in this series will be a manta workshop, in which participants will decide upon an issue that has deep personal importance to them and then make a banner representing a cause.  

Playing with Production: Walking tour, Photo by Jesse Miller 

Playing with Production: Walking tour, Photo by Jesse Miller 

AVAI will continue throughout the Fall and will culminate in mid-November with installations, performances and exhibitions throughout the month. Follow AVAI on Facebook for updates on the Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator, important information on our monthly events and more details about the artists’ upcoming workshops.  

Activating Vacancy Fall Calendar

August

8/27 Rebel Corridos: Corrido Writing Workshop with Celeste De Luna

8/27 El Círculo de Mujeres: Manta Workshop with Nancy Guevara

 

September

9/24 Make your own Chingona Outfit: Costume Making Workshop with Nancy Guevara

9/24 Kites Sin Fronteras: Kite Making Workshop with Celeste De Luna

 

October

10/7 Day in the Neighborhood: Brownsville’s first 24 Hour Film Festival begins

10/8  Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez

10/8 Work it Out: Open Lab Q and A for 24 Hour Film Festival

10/22Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez

10/22 Films from 24 Hour Festival Screened in Collaboration with the First Annual Brownsville International Film Festival

10/29 Steamrolling to the Future: Steamroller and Printmaking Workshop with Celeste De Luna

10/29 Platica Mujeres Líderes en Brownsville with Nancy Guevara

 

November

11/5Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez

11/9 Noche de Filosofía y First Brownsville Story Share: A Brownsville Symposium

11/12 Steamrolling into the Future: Steamroller and Printmaking Workshop with Celeste De Luna

 

December

12/3 Abriendo las Puertas: Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator Bridge Event with Artist Exhibitions, Charrettes, Panel Discussions, Performances and Live Music

 

 

 

 

LUCHA 2.0

Learn more about LUCHA

A Lucha trained leader engages a local neighborhood around Colonia issues. 

A Lucha trained leader engages a local neighborhood around Colonia issues. 

Once LUCHA 1.0 wrapped up, we along with our project partners, LUCHA representantes, and community leaders got together to review the successes and weaknesses of our first year. One key issue that arose was the small number of residents LUCHA was available to. With that feedback LUCHA 2.0 was developed. To better expand the reach of LUCHA, each project partner built on their strength and created an independent but complementary program. Here at [bc] we working on creating the LUCHA Platform, while our partners LUPE and ARISE are crafting a Leadership Development Program, and TxLIHIS has begun a Platicas Series.

The LUCHA Platform hopes to build power among residents and organizing groups through increasing access to information that residents and community organizations can use to better advocate for their communities.

The Platform will be a digital library of, downloadable and printable, community education resources covering the initial topic areas of governance, drainage, housing, public services, and planning & development. The community educational resources will be a combination of originally created content and existing educational materials. 

On July 26th, 2016 LUCHA community leaders facilitated the Governance Module as part of LUPE's Leadership Development Program in an interactive session. We look forward to see how these potential leaders use the LUCHA platform and activate their communities!

On July 26th, 2016 LUCHA community leaders facilitated the Governance Module as part of LUPE's Leadership Development Program in an interactive session. We look forward to see how these potential leaders use the LUCHA platform and activate their communities!

Depending on the needs of the organization, a colonia, an organizer, or organizing campaign one can pick and choose the resources that are best for engaging their community. Over time, we plan to fill the Platform with much more than the initial 15 originally created educational resources, and build relationships with local, regional and state organizations to support long term resource development.

 

POP Neighborhood Map Update - Modifications to Existing Boundaries!

Based on input we received via the interactive neighborhood boundary drawing tool Draw Your Neighborhood[bc] has been considering making some changes to the boundaries of a few neighborhoods - ParkdaleLake Park EstatesL StreetsMerriman Park/University Manor, and Lake Cliff - already on the POP Neighborhood Map

Read More

July Designer Social Recap

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Thank you for attending our 3rd Dallas Designer Social of 2016 and making it such a success! Find out how you can get involved with the projects and organizations that presented at the event below. 

PRESENTERS:

Ashley Hollon and Melanie Wood shared how AIA Dallas' Young Professionals committee aims to direct young professionals to give back to the community through design. Their mission: Providing networking, professional development and opportunities to give back to the community through design for unlicensed, newly licensed and other young professionals up to 10 years after registration. 

  • Find out more about upcoming events here, get involved in current projects, or volunteer to provide technical assistance by emailing aiadallasyp@gmail.com.

Patrick Blaydes and Amruta Sakalker discussed the proposed code amendments affecting existing and future Little Free Libraries in Dallas, and how designers can become advocates for public space. Read more about Little Free Libraries / Libros Libres.

Doug Prude, of PARK(ing) Day Dallas, shared how designers can get involved in this year's event on September 16th, 2016. Anyone can register to reserve a parking space on Main Street to transform into a park for the Downtown Dallas event or sign up to assist other participants with their design or construction needs.

Our Designer Social series will continue to share local opportunities, programs, and resources in the Dallas area for designers, architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, and other design-related professionals to get involved in community-based projects. We invite you to come learn from local efforts, expand your network of resources, and build capacity for designers in DFW to address issues in our communities. Read the recaps of the February and April Dallas Designer Socials!

If you would like to share at our next Social about a local program or project you are involved in, let us know! Email elizabeth@bcworkshop.org for more information on our Designer Social series.

Launch of Your Vote, Tu Futuro Video Series

We're incredibly excited to announce the launch of the Your Vote, Tu Futuro video series!

For decades, voter turnout of the Latino community has lagged behind the rest of the Texas population. Your Vote, Tu Futuro was born from a desire to walk potential voters through the voting process. This web-video series will cover the importance of voting, a basic overview of government and party structures, where to find candidate information, Texas’ voter-ID law, and the methods the voter can utilize to ultimately cast their ballot.

This installment will be 8 episodes long, with new episodes being released each week starting this July. Episodes will can be found on YouTube and on the project website below. Additionally, supplemental resources may be hosted on the website.

Episode 1 of the Your Vote, Tu Futuro series covers the importance of being a voter, addresses so misconceptions and/or fears about voting, and looks at the incredible opportunity we have to affect change in our country, state, and city.

Follow the series' website and YouTube channel for more videos in the coming weeks!

Designer Social: July 2016

[bc] invites you to join us for a DESIGNER SOCIAL on WED, JULY 27th from 6:30-7:30pm at 416 S ERVAY ST, DALLAS, TX, 75201.

Designer Socials are opportunities to meet peers, share work, and test ideas in a small group setting with local designers. Throughout 2016 [bc] will continue to share local opportunities, programs, and resources in the Dallas area for designers, architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, and other design-related professionals to get involved in community-based projects.

At this Designer Social we will share the following opportunities to get involved in your community:

  • Ashley Hollon and Melanie Wood will share how the AIA Dallas' Young Professionals Committee aims to direct young professionals to give back to the community through design. Their mission: Providing networking, professional development and opportunities to give back to the community through design for unlicensed, newly licensed and other young professionals up to 10 years after registration.
  • Patrick Blaydes and Amruta Sakalker will discuss the proposed code amendments affecting existing and future Little Free Libraries in Dallas, and how designers can become advocates for public space. Read more about Little Free Libraries / Libros Libres here.
  • PARK(ing) Day Dallas organizers will share how designers can get involved in this year's event on September 16th, 2016. Attendees will be able to register to reserve a parking space on Main Street to transform into a park for the Downtown Dallas event or sign up to assist other participants with their design or construction needs.

[bc] is convening active and interested designers and design-related professionals to share our experiences and to learn how to build our capacity to help others. At each social we ask attendees to answer questions about their experience with community-based work. Read the recaps of our Designer Socials in February & April!

If you would like to share about a local program or project that you are involved in at our Designer Socials, let us know! Email elizabeth@bcworkshop.org for more information, and sign up to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on volunteer & partnership opportunities!

Meet the 2016 PDII Jury

Learn more about Public Design Impact Initiative.

The Public Design Impact Initiative was successfully launched in the Rio Grande Valley. We received 6 proposals that address some of the issues border communities face. [bc] has convened a great jury with representatives of the nonprofit, design and grassroots leaders community to provide recommendations on which proposals should be selected for the 2016 PDII projects. Read more about the jurors' backgrounds below: 

Michael Seifert is the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network Weaver, a coalition of eight community-based organizations serving more than 100,000 residents on the Texas/Mexico/Gulf Coast border.  The RGV Equal Voice Network has achieved important policy changes in immigration, housing, access to health care, education and jobs for its clients.

As a former priest who worked for many years in Mexico and Brownsville’s Cameron Park, Seifert has lived and worked in rural underserved communities and colonias in the Rio Grande Valley for the past 28 years. In 1998, he and other Cameron Park community leaders founded Proyecto Digna, a community-based organization which was instrumental in the nearly complete reconstruction of that community's infrastructure. He is currently a resident of West Brownsville, Texas.

 

 

In practice for over a decade, Carolina Civarolo, a Registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional, has spent her career building experience through various design firms and projects. She began her professional career while attending the University of Houston, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. In 2003, Carolina worked in Barcelona, Spain for the office of Enric Miralles + Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT), where she gained a passion for graphics and presentations. She worked for seven years at the local architecture firm Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects (BSG), where she collaborated on different building types and scales and gained experience as a project manager.

Today, she is founder and partner at ORANGE MADE, an architecture studio that explores the process and impact of design and construction of various building types, master planning and adaptive reuse of existing structures. Carolina believes that our clients’ ideas help motivate our solutions. She has served on the Executive Board of the Rio Grande Valley American Institute of Architects Chapter as Secretary/Treasurer + Vice President and currently serves on the City of McAllen’s Building Board of Adjustments and Appeals. Carolina was born in Cordoba, Argentina, grew up in Houston, Texas and now resides in McAllen, TX.

Lourdes Flores is the president of the Support Center at A Resource In Serving Equality (ARISE), an organization of women engaged in leadership development and community-building in four neighborhoods in South Texas. Flores was born in Reynosa, Mexico and moved to Mission,Texas at the age of 12. After high school she joined A Resource In Serving Equality (ARISE). ARISE’s mission is to aid communities by helping residents identify life goals and build capacity; Its guiding tenet: Don’t do anything for anybody that they can’t do for themselves. The organization’s founder, Sister Gerrie Naughton, recruited Flores early on and encouraged her to share her skills. Lourdes, now 42, continues to provide resources that help residents achieve life goals on their own. Under Lourdes’ leadership, this community center network responds directly to each community's needs, combining them with larger efforts that transcend neighborhood boundaries. Lourdes is also a cofounder of one of the ARISE centers in Colonia Muniz. In 2012 she co-founded the first Community PTA know as ARISE South Tower Community PTA, and since then five more comunitario pta’s have been formed.

 

Emma Alaniz is a Colonia leader from Edinburg, TX. She organizes neighborhood meetings and has experience with community outreach and door-to-door canvassing. She believes in equity for all and that all communities should receive essential public services. Emma is committed to the civil rights fight.

Emma has been an active advocate for her community at the local, state, and national levels.  At the local level, Emma represents her Colonia Curry Estates, at Commissioners Court meetings where she has issues regarding flooding and trash collection.  She encourages her neighborhood committee to fight for solutions, succeeding with the development of drainage infrastructure in her Colonia. At the state level, Emma was very active in the fight for Street Lights legislation and has advocated for State issued Driver’s Licenses. The Street Light legislation passed in 2015 and Emma and her neighbors submitted an application to the county to obtain lighting installed in her colonia.  At the national level, Emma traveled with a group of colonia residents and community advocates to advocate for a just and fair comprehensive immigration reform.

As a LUPE member, she has the opportunity to organize on several initiatives like Unidos por RGV and the Planning Committee for the Annual Cesar Chavez March.

Welcome Skyler Fike!

Skyler Fike is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. As a Dallas native, he brings with him a strong understanding of Dallas and Fort Worth, and a commitment to these cities for the foreseeable future. He is primarily working on making projects in Dallas.

In his other time, Skyler is a photographer, and hopes to use this medium in tandem with his practice of architecture, and service to the greater community. His greatest desire is to see homelessness and poverty come to an end, and to use these practices to tell compelling stories and empower communities.

Skyler holds a BA in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma.  In 2012, Skyler attended a small liberal arts school on the eastern shore called the Trinity Fellows Academy, where he received a year-long fellowship to study under some of the greatest minds in the arts, religion, culture, and sociology, as well as alongside a community of diverse peers. This time spent in the northeast profoundly shaped his understanding of architecture, people, and why remaining grounded in one place serves to better a community and a the city at large.

 

Crossing the Street: Ivy City

See more posts about our work in Washington, DC

[bc] with LISC are excited to announce a call for collaborators for the Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City project. This art and creative placemaking initiative in the historic Ivy City neighborhood of northeast DC will implement a temporary, creative action that promotes community building, reflects the neighborhood’s rich heritage, and declares residents’ vision for the future of Ivy City.

Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City will be carried out over the next four months produced and curated by [bc] with LISC in partnership with the DC Office of Planning. [bc] and LISC believe collaboration of local and technical expertise is essential to quality placemaking.

Residents and artists, are encouraged to respond to the call for collaborators. If you have had a creative project in mind that will activate or inspire your neighbors or if you are a person who creates for a living and you want to do something creative and artistic in Ivy City then we want you to apply!

More information on Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City can be found here and interested parties should apply via an online application found here. A neighborhood tour and Q&A session will be held on July 21st for applicants to familiarize themselves with Ivy City and the application process. We encourage you to attend this session. Applications are due by midnight on Thursday, July 28th. Finalists will be notified by Monday, August 1, 2016.

For more information on Ivy City, see these resources.

This project is supported by a Kresge Foundation grant awarded to the DC Office of Planning. To find out more about DCOP’s Crossing the Street initiative, visit: http://planning.dc.gov/page/creative-placemaking.

Belden Trial Connect Ribbon Cutting Event!

Last month the City of Brownsville inaugurated the Belden Connect Project with a celebration ride for the community. The [bc] and Ambiotec Group design is an extension of the mile long Belden Trail that opened to the public in 2013 connecting West Brownsville to Downtown Brownsville and the Mitte Cultural District.

More events are scheduled! Check out the websites below for more information:

LUCHA 1.0

Learn more about LUCHA

During its first phase, LUCHA worked directly with 15 colonia representatives, each of whom represent a larger organizing effort in Hidalgo and Cameron county. The goal of LUCHA 1.0 was trifold. To develop representantes’ understanding and expertise in the areas of land use, public infrastructure, development, and water issues. To engage representantes to further focus their top priorities, and begin to make selections of preferences on possible solutions. And to craft policy and legislative initiatives in preparation for the 2015 Texas legislative session.
Some examples of the Colonia and Housing issues that LUCHA leaders addressed were: housing affordability, adequate infrastructure, jobs, public safety, and land use.
The initiative has the capacity, through legislative action, to impact the 1.2 million people living in the three county area, Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy. The demographic targets of the project are low-income residents of rural and urban subdivisions that lack complete, well-functioning municipal services.

Partners

Community Development Corporation of Brownsville
The Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB)  is a non‐profit community housing development organization, who has been providing safe, sanitary, affordable housing to the citizens of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas for the past 38 years. CDCB participated in LUCHA workgroups, the engagement and management committees and was responsible of overseeing all housing and development initiatives.  

Texas Low Income Housing Services
Texas Low Income Housing Information Services (TxLIHIS) is a nonprofit corporation established in Austin in 1988 to support low-income Texan's efforts to achieve the American dream of a decent, affordable home in a quality neighborhood. TxLIHIS lead and coordinated the Representantes trainings, planned with [bc] the LUCHA workgroups and was responsible of overseeing policy development initiatives. TxLIHIS assisted the Representantes with their political strategy as well. 

La Unión del Pueblo Entero
César Chávez established La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a non-profit organization, which is rooted in the belief that members of the low-income community have both the responsibility and the obligation to organize themselves, and through their association, to advocate for solutions to the issues that impact their lives. LUPE was responsible of identifying, recruiting and supporting Colonia representantes and of developing the political and engagement strategy for LUCHA. Working with TxLIHIS, LUPE lead and coordinated the representante trainings, and engagement and management committee meetings and assisted with the workgroups. 

A Resource In Serving Equality  
A Resource In Serving Equality Arise (ARISE) was founded in 1987 by Sister Gerrie Naughton, of the Sisters of Mercy order as a grassroots organization of women for women; building on strengths and respecting the dignity of each individual. In coordination with LUPE and other community organizations (START and TOP), ARISE was responsible of identifying, recruiting and supporting Colonia representantes, supporting colonia-wide events, the political strategy and leadership trainings, workgroups and workshops. 

LUCHA: Land Use Colonia Housing Action

Learn more about LUCHA

LUCHA emerged from the 2012 Colonia Summit held by state Senator Eddie Lucio, where colonia leaders and state officials gathered to discuss issues which require more systemic change. A key outcome was the determination that a council of colonia residents would be created to work with local and State government. LUCHA was designed to support the council, build capacity of local colonia residents [representantes], and identify community supported policy issues for the 2015 legislative session.

The term "colonia," in Spanish means a community or neighborhood. The Office of the Secretary of State defines a "colonia" as a residential area along the Texas-Mexico border that may lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing. Lack of affordable housing, coupled with Texas’ limited regulation and low taxes at the county level, has contributed to thousands of families settling in primarily isolated communities on former farmland, ill prepared to handle the infrastructural needs of residential development.

While significant improvements have been made, including paved streets, potable water connections, and standards for water systems, limited efforts have been made incorporating colonia residents in infrastructure or long-range planning efforts. In 2011-12 colonia leaders, community organizing institutions, Community Development Corporations, planners, and housing policy experts partnered to develop seven (7) model colonia plans. The model colonia plans serve as the backdrop for LUCHA.

 

Data Ecosystem Project - Report Released

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Stakeholders from across North Texas identified opportunities and challenges at Data Ecosystem Lab #1 in January 2016. 

Stakeholders from across North Texas identified opportunities and challenges at Data Ecosystem Lab #1 in January 2016. 

bcANALYTICS recently wrapped up The Data Ecosystem Project, a two-year project to reimagine the way data is collected, shared, and used across Dallas and North Texas

Executive Summary

Read the full Data Ecosystem Project report and Appendices here!

North Texas faces a myriad of challenges as it moves through the second decade of the 21st Century. Affordable housing, rapid growth, aging infrastructure, poverty alleviation, children’s health, and urban blight are just some of the many complex, interconnected problems that require an unprecedented amount of long-term action, cross-sector coordination, and development of a common agenda to address. Cities across the world have recognized that data is central to both understanding and acting on these complex issues and that the importance of making data accessible to a greater population is key to reaching these goals. A number of different strategies for achieving these goals have been adopted across the country, with each offering unique strengths and benefits.

The Data Ecosystem Project, sponsored by Communities Foundation of Texas, has worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to identify a system that can revolutionize the ways we collect, share, access, and use data in Dallas. Through research on national best practices, the Dallas Data Ecosystem Survey, and local stakeholder engagement the Data Ecosystem Project has identified an approach that organizations in Dallas and North Texas can work towards to improve the health and vitality of the regional data ecosystem.

The wealth of motivated organizations and individuals already working in Dallas and North Texas lends itself to collaborative solutions that benefit from the existing skills and expertise of the data ecosystem. The single greatest need is a centralized data catalog, library, or portal - where data from a variety of organizations, topics, and scales can be accessed by anyone and everyone. To do this, a mix of ancillary activities must also occur, from the creation of a governing body and governance structure to the development of topic specific cohort groups that encourage collaboration and participation between and across different parts of the ecosystem. 

The Data Ecosystem Project has identified a data ecosystem model built around a number of primary and second functions. To implement these practices across the ecosystem, we recommend the following activities take place by Fall 2017

  1. Acquiring preliminary funding to carry out a set of initial work items with oversight from a preliminary advisory team.
  2. Recruiting advocates from a variety of sectors and backgrounds to act as champions of the data ecosystem.
  3. Forming an advisory team to help guide the development of the data ecosystem’s final structure. 
  4. Conducting a data inventory to better understand the extent of publicly available data in North Texas.
  5. Developing case studies that help demonstrate the value and potential of enhanced data accessibility.
  6. Creating a business plan and securing multi-year funding for implementation.

Moving forward with these steps will support the successful implementation of a more robust data ecosystem. Whether the advisory team recommends and builds the case for a collaborative effort or the development of a university-driven data hub, taking the steps to make data more accessible will better enable the region to tackle the problems it faces. By maintaining the status quo, organizations must work harder and less efficiently to understand themselves, their communities, and make well-informed decisions.