Bailey Fights Blight is a collaborative project being spearheaded by the Bailey Avenue Business Association that seeks to board up and secure blighted and vacant storefronts along Bailey Avenue, while incorporating public art as a way to beautify the neighborhood and builds on Bailey-Kensington’s rich history and culture.
Community members mapped nearly 80 vacant or blighted properties along Bailey Avenue from Winspear Avenue to Genesee Street using a mobile app to record the data. Action plans were then developed for buildings that would be boarded and primed and eventually be a canvas for public art. Community work days were held in the Fall of 2014 as well as the Summer of 2015 that brought out community members, business owners, and students.
With nearly 20,000 cars traveling down Bailey every day, turning vacant and blighted buildings into pieces of art and visual statements on the neighborhood not only transforms Bailey’s physical fabric, but also can begin to change people’s perceptions and attitudes toward the street. They can capitalize on the cultural and artistic vibrancy of Bailey that is oftentimes overlooked or ignored. By looking at the issues of vacancy, vandalism, and graffiti as opportunities for community-driven change, artists, business owners, residents, and students can work together on community-based solutions to quality of life challenges.