The Lawndale Space on The Alley Project

Grace in Action

Funding Received: 2016
Detroit, MI
Funding Period: 2 years and 7 months

Through the adaptive reuse of a former funeral home in SW Detroit, MI, Grace in Action will create new economic opportunity for local residents through the development of affordable artist live-work space, a printmaking studio, recording studio, and vital community space for residents to incubate new business ideas and community actions.

Grace in Action(GIA) was born of a deep neighborhood process through which local residents defined their priorities. Through a series of relational conversations, residents described their desire for economic and artistic opportunities. Having recently gained site control of a former funeral home and several vacant lots, GIA will deploy a community engaged design process to complete renovation of this community anchor into facilities requested by local residents to cultivate their artistic and economic capital. The renovation will provide a community print shop, sound and music recording studio, visual arts studio, artists’ residence, outdoor gathering and activity spaces.

The project is located in the Springwells neighborhood in Southwest Detroit where about 17,000 people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds reside. GIA has grown from a group of 10-15 people meeting in separate small groups in 2010 to an active group of more than 140 people in 2016. One challenge present in southwest Detroit is the development of ideas of outside groups that see opportunities for their own economic gain which inhibit those of current residents who cannot afford the rent or consumer costs associated with the economic boom of Detroit’s downtown and midtown neighborhoods. What GIA Church and Collectives has created and will grow with this project are affordable, community directed economic and artist opportunities for learning, mentoring and community well-being.