Reinventing Gary was a presentation of work by design and urban planning students from 3 of the 4 major Chicago universities that have been working in Gary. The event was sponsored by the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District (MBACD) and held on the evening of Saturday, 15 November 2014, at the Marshall Garder Center for the Arts, in Miller.
The participating schools were the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The evening also featured a discussion moderated by executive director of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Ty Warren.
Folks hoping for a nice show of community unity were to be sorely abrupted to reality. In a 5000 square foot gallery, located in a city with a Black population between 80-90%, people of color had been near completely eliminated from the vision.
The panel was mercifully swift, the faculty leaders from the three programs and a half dozen students gave the usual lauditudes about engaging with the community and openness to ideas. The moderator reminded the audience these were student projects and that all questions should be kind. And resident gadfly Jim Nowacki confronted the panel on the glaring omission.
And you can see the response here: