Community Art Project sheds light on housing issues, solutions

SARANAC LAKE — In an effort to promote affordable and sustainable housing alternatives for aspiring homeowners in the face of the region’s ongoing housing crisis, the Adirondack North Country Association, the Cooperative Development Institute and local arts groups invite community members to participate in a multi-community art project that will explore housing, housing insecurity and cooperative housing solutions for our region.

Partners including the Adirondack Almanack, ADK ArtRise, the Adirondack Center for Writing, BluSeed Studios, Historic Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake ArtWorks and the Saranac Lake Free Library invite community members to create and engage with artwork and stories through “Dreaming of Home: A Community Art Project to Share Housing Issues and Cooperative Solutions.” The project kicks off this weekend in Saranac Lake.

“I know that I am very fortunate to find a house that fits my family’s needs in the Tri-Lakes, but my younger brother was not so lucky,” said Brittany Sternberg, co-owner of ADK ArtRise.

“He has a young family and he ended up having to leave the area because he could not find housing. ADK ArtRise hopes that housing-inspired art can shed light and hope on this issue and give individuals a creative outlet to share their housing journey, challenges and dreams for home.”

Participants of all ages are invited to ADK ArtRise’s Main Street studio on Sunday anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to create a dream house out of readily available materials including cardboard and other recyclables or found objects.

Cardboard architects may choose to build their house at home or attend the in-person workshop.

More information and templates for cardboard house building can be found at the ADK ArtRise website, www.adkartrise.com/housing-project.

The Adirondack Center for Writing is sharing housing-related writing prompts in their email newsletter and on the ACW website at www.adirondackcenterforwriting.org/for-writers through the rest of October.

Entries can be found on the Center’s blog, and select works will be printed and displayed at ACW’s Broadway location.

The Adirondack Almanack will also share selected writings in its online publication at www.adirondackalmanack.com.

BluSeed Studios will display housing related pieces, including art created by Saranac Lake ArtWorks members and the general public.

The Saranac Lake Free Library will display books related to housing, houses, homelessness and community, inviting readers to explore the topic from a variety of perspectives. Historic Saranac Lake will provide resources about housing and historic buildings, which will be shared on HSL’s and ANCA’s social media channels.

“Housing co-ops, like the one currently being developed in Lake Placid, provide a sustainable option for local people who are eager to own a home but are priced out of the market,” said ANCA’s Entrepreneurial Economy Program Director Danielle Delaini, who coordinates the economic nonprofit’s Cooperative Housing Initiative.

“We hope that building a model house or sharing housing stories will inspire the community to learn more about cooperative housing or get involved in this exciting local opportunity.”

ANCA’s housing initiative connects local residents with cooperative ownership resources through CDI and provides support for the development of a housing co-op on gifted land in Lake Placid.

Delaini said the arts project can help grow awareness around housing solutions, including cooperative housing.

The community arts project will feature housing-inspired art throughout Saranac Lake beginning on Oct. 31 and will continue to grow as it moves to Lake Placid, Malone and Plattsburgh over the winter months.

All opportunities to engage with this project are free and open to the public.

Updates and additional opportunities will be posted on ANCA’s Facebook event page for “Dreaming of Home: A Community Art Project to Share Housing Issues and Cooperative Solutions,” ANCA’s website at www.adirondack.org/dreamingofhome and ADK ArtRise’s website at www.adkartrise.com/housing-project.

Local individuals, families and employers interested in learning more about cooperative housing, its benefits and the Lake Placid housing co-op can view a pre-recorded learning session on ANCA’s website?

There is still time to join the steering committee for the Lake Placid project; the committee’s first official meeting will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 in Lake Placid. Contact ANCA at housing@adirondack.org for location details and questions.


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