Ask anyone about Detroit, and they'll tell you about a city that has been through rough times. Economic decline has left the City contemplating if it should sell some of the Detroit Institute of Arts artworks to help cover their $18 billion+ debt obligations.
Within this desperation a thing of beauty has emerged: the Heidelberg Project by artist Tyree Guyton. (Fans of the show Breaking Bad, please don't get confused.) The Heidelberg project is an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community on Detroit's East Side. Its two-block area is full of art, colour, found and recycled items, and good vibes. Its mission is to promote art and education, community development and tourism (275,000+ visitors annually). It's about healing communities through art, and it works.
So why for the love of Pete is someone burning these houses-turned-art down?! Out of six houses, two have been burnt down by arson, despite the community's security efforts. Not only is this a travesty from the viewpoint of art destruction, but it puts at risk the families who live within the community.
I can't understand what would compel someone - repeatedly! - to destroy this wonderful, constructive effort. Is this a personal vendetta against the artist? I don't know what would make me feel worse: having a twisted rationale or the complete absence of one.
All I know is that I am angry. I don't live in Detroit (I have only ever driven through part of it once), but I feel touched by this inexplicable destruction.
The good news is that I have the ability to do something. The project has started an Indiegogo project to rebuild the houses that were destroyed. In this era of micro contributions, even $5 can make a difference.
I do what I can and hope they catch the #($*&% who are responsible.