I Love My Neighborhood Because...

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By Christi Vasquez

....it is unique, historic, and filled with innovative and kind neighbors. And tacos. Tacos are always important.

As a firm believer in the transformative power of art, the results that come about when neighbors collaborate on an art project is magical! Throughout my time being a block party host, I've tried to find small ways to let my neighbors express themselves together, get a little silly, and let loose a lot of creativity by working on a fun art project. One or two of the things I have tried haven't quite been hits, but the latest art project I've created was!

Block party attendees at both of our July block parties enjoyed the "I love my neighborhood because.../Me encanta mi barrio porque..." chalkboards I created, and I'm excited to see what other things people will write on them in the future. We always clear the boards, but after a dozen, two dozen, THREE dozen parties, these boards will have proudly and loudly exclaimed to hundreds of people from the East End why they believe in their neighborhoods and each other. Sometimes people add their hopes for the future, and that's okay too! Because at the end of the day, the boards themselves will be a space where everyone's dreams are accepted and put in writing, showing that we are all committed to investing in our neighborhoods.

Christi Vasquez