Thursday, September 3, 2009

Start Small, Build Incrementally


M does not happen. Detroit, Happens! It's about their people, their communities, and their lives. It's not about us.

We've met with Tyree from the Heidelberg Project, Gina and Nina from the Powerhouse and Design 99, Ms. Allen from the Arts Place at Little Rock Family Center, and several other community leaders. We've learned that it takes time to do anything around here. And it must be done with hard work, time, and humility.

When we asked Gina about her "goals" for the Powerhouse, she slightly chuckled at the notion, but did respond with the modest plan: "create a stable neighborhood that we have no control over".

We often throw around the word "organic", but in Detroit things move slowly and they must be developed from the roots. Success and failure are not up to us. They are determined by starting small and building incrementally.

I have been truly lucky to meet new friends here in Detroit. I've spent three days in the North End, where, unfortunately, drugs and violence are an everyday reality. In an opposing light, these are the most real and genuine people. They don't mind sweeping their own streets when the city doesn't clean them.

With sleeves rolled up and shovels in hand much can be acheived.

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