In a fine example of People Organizing Place, the businesses along Rock Island Street in the Cedars neighborhood of Dallas recently put on the Cedars West Arts Festival to showcase the improvements they’ve made to their area. bcWORKSHOP showed up with our 40-foot Gatu (shipping container) gallery to exhibit photos and stories of the area’s past and engage visitors about their neighborhoods.
Named for the Rock Island Railroad that was extended to serve the area, Rock Island Street was developed from the river bottom reclaimed after the construction of the levees channelizing the Trinity River. Framed by the old meanders and conceived as an industrial area, the street remains populated by recyclers and architectural salvage companies. Working to share how existing buildings and businesses can be a part of change, property owners initiated a public art campaign and organized a street festival to spread neighborly good will.
In addition to displaying photos and stories about Rock Island, bcWORKSHOP collected neighborhood stories from dozens of attendees who told us what they love about where they live. Despite the June heat, the street was bustling with people buying found objects, enjoying the art and music while stopping in to provide valuable input informing our POP City Map.
Check out the video of the stories collected at the Cedars Arts Festival below, and watch for the latest version of the new City Map!