Art is at the core of the 5th Ward’s economic revitalization because it is an inclusive economic driver that allows everyone to partake in the process of comprehensive redevelopment and revitalization. The 5th Ward Cultural Arts District supports ongoing efforts to revitalize the community and interacts with all of the other economic and community development plans and projects already underway.
Art is also a response to challenges that include climate change, long-term disinvestment, gentrification, and displacement. We are preserving the historic legacy of places and people of the 5th as keystones that stand as foundations for building the new frontier while enhancing the future with initiatives that engage with the changing climate of our times in brilliant and innovative ways. This plan for the 5th Ward's Lyons Avenue Cultural Arts District is based on five core principles.
5th Ward Is Art
In 5th Ward, we define and consider art more comprehensively. It can be a choice of clothing, jewelry, hairstyle, or dishware, and it incorporates people’s stories, movement, and language. In other words, we are all essentially artists or creatives. Through the District’s efforts, all people within the District’s boundaries will see themselves as part of the artistic and cultural fabric of the community.
Our 5 Pillars
Art is Democratic and Accessible
Democratizing art requires a shift from audience size to the intimacy of interactions. The District must build the confidence of the artists, residents, and visitors by helping people recognize their own creativity and continuing to stretch what art and culture looks like, as well as their role in its creation and consumption.
There Is No Art Without People
Art is not just an object, it is a felt experience. To fully engage an audience in arts and culture, one must also create a sense of home, place, and community. As visitors come to the District, they must be so enveloped in its culture as to become community members themselves. There is power in the way creativity empowers residents and makes visitors welcome.
Art Is More Than A Hobby
Art is not just a hobby – it creates jobs and economic growth, it educates those of all ages, and it preserves and widens community legacies. Art can be a positive economic force with support from a variety of local ecosystems. Art also is a means to preserve and grow the legacy of the 5th Ward through education and intentional feedback and storytelling from community members.
Art Responds to Our Largest Challenges
The path to equity and social justice, something that the 5th has contributed to throughout its history, must also carry a response to climate change. Mobilizing into an active mode to gather strength, intelligence, and meaningful direction to confront the future is an obligation the living have to the following generations.