Spring Forward: artists to tackle problem properties this weekend

SOUTH BEND Nearly 1,000 homes in South Bend are considered vacant and abandoned, and a group of artists and volunteers hopes to change the blight with a splash of color. Spring Forward has been in the works for months. The planning culminates for the one-weekend project on Friday.

Spring Forward is separate from the city's plan to demolish the houses. This group will paint doors and windows, to make neighborhoods more visually appealing.

"The easiest way to stabilize it is to make the neighborhood look better," said Chris Stackowicz, the project co-manager, and the owner of cstack studio, LLC.

Stackowicz joined forces with the Nieghborhood Resources Corporation and other volunteers to make the project happen. Area artists and students have submitted works of art to the project, many of which will be used.

"Everything that happens in our community affects us in some way," said Diana Hess, the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Resources Corporation. "Number one, it will impact the interest businesses to locate here, it's going to impact the tax base, where our tax dollars are going."

"So even if you are looking at it from strictly a self-interest point of view, I think there should be some concern. But, we should be concerned about our fellow citizens who live with this every day," said Hess.

Spring Forward is still looking for volunteers to donate extra paint, brushes, money or time.

For more information, visit the Spring Forward facebook page.

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