Some arts-based community organizations are developing culturally driven housing to preserve their neighborhoods, but these organizations are treated like anomalies instead of as incubators for a replicable community preservation model. How do we close the gap? Ground the development of housing in the ethos of a sustainably affordable housing community, analyze how other organizations approach the model, actively involve residents in the visioning and implementation of the process, and simplify the methodology into a model. Bland will build upon her experiential mapmaking exercises with Houston’s Third Ward residents to project into the future of the community.
Libby Bland is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned master’s degrees in architecture and city and regional planning. Her undergraduate degree is from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied narratives of place, children’s literature, and costuming. She was born and raised in Southeastern Virginia near the fugitive slave maroon community in The Great Dismal Swamp. Her background is in oral history, arts-based community design, and the history of self-planned Black communities throughout the rural South.