I've come across a community called 'Artist Village Detroit', which was founded by artist Chazz Miller. In an interview about Artist Village Detroit, Chazz Miller says the following: "Artist Village Detroit was born out of necessity.. If the community is dysfunctional then you can't not be surprised that the children are dysfunctional. My idea of community is a community of sacrifice, individuals who are willing to sacrifice their personal issues for the betterment of the whole. Ultimately, understanding that will more than likely if not solve their personal issues, give them a support system to help them deal with their personal issues." Artist Village Detroit offers summer art classes for children and a weekly open salon called 'Creative Juices' for music, hip-hop, performance and spoken word, among other community projects and programs. Chazz Miller also has murals located throughout Detroit.
You can watch the video 'Overview of Artist Village' here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu_C1-7fSx8&feature=related.
Also check out their website, Public Art Workz: http://www.publicartworkz.org/.
Artist Village is also on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/artistvillagedetroit.
What intrigues me about Artist Village is that it offers an outlet for youth and the community to share and express themselves. It also creates a place for people to learn and grow together, to clean up their environment and make it beautiful. The abandoned house projects are interesting too, but what I like about the idea of the Artist Village is that that it depends less on what is empty and vacant, and more on the people who are still there.