Can Art Really ‘Make A Difference’…?

by Lucia Tang, AOB Board Member, Project Designer – Hickok Cole Architects

My first experience with Arts on the Block and founder Jan Goldstein, was in a parking lot. I, along with another architect and local policemen, were invited to survey the Quebec Terrace Carroll Avenue Housing Community. AOB brought us together to look for community art opportunities that would help improve the safety of this neighborhood. The mosaics AOB installed months earlier on two large stairways were already considered a success by the community, who were starting to reclaim their public sPOST 1 stairs at QTCApaces from gang activity.

My first impression was, “The audacity! Can art really ‘make a difference’?”

But the support from local policemen and volunteers was palpable, they had seen the results of AOB’s involvement. It was clear to me then that AOB was a respected and capable organization. Those few hours I volunteered with them were catalyzed and folded into a series of community projects that engaged local residents, University of Maryland Architecture School, Maryland State funding, young artists, lighting designers, engineers, and community volunteers all working with AOB. This year the work at QTCA continues as they start installing the light installation and rain garden. Your support for Arts on the Block will go so much further than you imagined.


Throughout spring, Arts on the Block will highlight the people, places and programs we love. Our goal is to #AOBHitRefresh on all of the relationships that make up our creative community. It’s spring, what better time to reconnect? Tell us your #AOBHitRefresh story!

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