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Repurposing for Reading: Cleveland’s Literary Lots Project

I’m loving this idea over on kickstarter (and fortunately, it has already met its initial fundraising effort!): Literary Lots. It’s simple – find a city (in this case, Cleveland, OH). Gather artists and designers and volunteers and together, transform vacant city lots into beautiful, fun literary spaces for kids.

Imagine making a Secret Garden, with nooks and crannies tucked away. Or have a wardrobe door opening into the snowy wonderland of Narnia. Perhaps a giant chessboard, for Wizard Chess, a la Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

In their own words:

Literary Lots is a program that ‘brings books to life’ in vacant lots in Cleveland. Working with the Cleveland Public Libraries and LAND Studio, Literary Lots will transform 2 to 4 vacant lots adjacent to libraries into six-week summer program spots for children in inner-city Cleveland. Between June and August 2013, local artists will use themes from specific children’s books to re-create places, concepts, or adventures from the book, creating a magical and educational space to engage local youth in art and culture. Working with other local non-profits and cultural institutions, the artists will bring engaging programming to youth right in their neighborhoods. The result: a transformative experience that combines creative land re-use, artist engagement, youth education and urban renewal.

It seems what books are represented/created will depend in part upon being granted copyright permissions. I hope they have little in the way of hurdles around that, as it’s such a wonderful idea for unused space. I would have been bonkers for something like that as a kid.

Learn more about Literary Lots (or donate, if you’re inclined)!

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About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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