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First Ward Community Center: 2016 B.A.T.S. Project

2016 B.A.T.S. Project: Business, Art, Theatre and Sociology Reinvent Urban Communities presentation, “SaginawRevitalization: Drawing On Our Different Strengths” was held on Thursday April 21 at the Dow Event Center Red Room.

Graphic by Tianna Lazaruk

This event culminated in the dedication of a mural in six panels by SVSU students Marissa Kemp, Tianna Lazaruk, Tylar Greer-Travis, Malory Kochanny, Samantha Rieger, in Professor Mike Mosher’s Art 433 Community Murals class, with input from the students of Professors Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, Dawn Hinton and David Rzeszutek, as well as First Ward Saginaw Youth who visited the University.

At that event, visions by six student multi-disciplinary teams, with the input of youth from First Ward Community Services, of urban improvement were presented.  These were organized by number-crunching Business students, dramatized by Theatre actors, deepened by Sociology students’ research and represented in paintings by art students.  

The Art 433 students on each of the teams showed 2’ x 4’ visualizations of their teams’ ideas about Health, Employment, Community Engagement, Civic Engagement, Education & Transportation.  The artworks they held were smaller versions of the 4’ x 8’ painted plywood panels installed earlier that week in “the Brainstorm Room” of the First Ward Community Center, 1410 N 12th Street, Saginaw.   There the panels have notches and points, to interlock like a picture puzzle, for all these areas need to fit together for urban betterment.  The wavy bottom of each panel represents the Saginaw River, which can divide communities or unite them...and bring a flow of neighborhood youth to SVSU.

The April 21 event also featured performances by First Ward Community Services youth, the Cardinal Singers, SVSU alumna Lauraleen Beatty, and opening and closing blessings by Rev. Byron C. Hayes.  Thanks to the United Way of Saginaw County for funding this project, SVSU Provost Dr. Deb Huntley, and the Vitito Fellows.

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Mike Mosher
Department of Art
Studio 104