How to you rebuild a crumbling neighborhood? For Theaster Gates, the answer can be found in art and community building. Gates, who is a potter by trade and a social activist artist by vocation, discusses his inspiring method for reviving his Chicago neighborhood in this talk from TED2015. By teaming up with community members and rebuilding old and abandoned buildings into artistic hubs, like museums and movie theaters, Gates discovered his neighborhood changing for the better. This passionate talk shows that using what you’ve got to create culture and beauty can be an amazing catalyst for social change.

Recommended reading:

Theaster Gates (Contemporary Artists), Carol Becker, Achim Borchardt-Hume and Lisa Yun Lee (Phaidon Press, October 2015)

theaster-gates-book-coverThis is the first detailed monograph of Gates’ artwork. It gives in-depth descriptions and analysis of Gates’ exhibitions and instillations, so if you’re interested in learning more about his art, this is the book for you.