The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art environment in Detroit’s McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on the city’s east side that works to improve neighborhoods and people’s lives through art. Artist Tyree Guyton returned to Heidelberg, the street he grew up on in the neighborhood, in 1986 and found it to be a place rampant with drug use and poverty. He, neighborhood children, and his grandfather began cleaning up vacant lots, and Guyton turned the lots into art exhibits and abandoned houses into giant art sculptures, integrating the street, sidewalks, and trees. The project became incorporated in 1988. The organization offers group tours, lectures, meeting space rentals, and the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy, a free in- or after-school arts education program designed to empower 4th-12th grade students with tools to become active change agents in their communities. A 2020 trip to Ghana was planned for students in the leadership academy, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. While tours are not available, people are able to visit the site.
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