3. 1415
St. Louis, Mo. / Rebuild Foundation
When artist Theaster Gates—founder of the Rebuild Foundation—led a series of classes asking students from Most Holy Trinity Catholic School and Academy to describe a healthy community, he could have stopped there. Instead, an inspired parishioner donated a dilapidated multifamily building that Gates and an army of volunteers (including students from Washington University’s CityStudioSTL) transformed into an arts center, which provides cultural programming that the neighborhood lacks. Volunteers re-clad one wall of the house in reclaimed hardie board, made a community theater/performance space by replacing a wall with a garage door, and established a community advisory committee to help with programming. The transformed structure now houses arts classes, workshops, and artist residencies.

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