Although the project is currently on hold (a production partner behind adding the skills workshops and car building has been forced to withdraw from the project) it’s still worth talking about in hopes that maybe it will attract some new interest.
Anyway. With some momentum behind our recent film “After the Factory,” we decided to use money from ticket sales to fuel an effort on the ground in Detroit, for a place that is featured in the movie nonetheless. This way, the film becomes an extension of the hopeful message it is perpetuating.
The idea is to create an attraction, something that kids are curious about and want to take part in. After all, there are no remote control race car tracks in the city of Detroit, so it will also be something very unique to them and their neighborhood. Once the track is constructed, kids will have a variety of ways in which they can earn car time– they can volunteer in the GSCC media center, they could help tutor a fellow neighbor with their math homework, they could volunteer with Mark in the garden, take part in the up and coming youth garden market, or a variety of other things. But the point is this: once they have put a little work in, they are rewarded with some good old fashioned fun at the track where they can race cars and have a good time on space that was previously derelict. But it goes significantly further than that. With enough interest we can run classes that show kids how to build their own car, and perhaps some become interested in circuitry, engineering or product design. Then the universities step in to help make that vision possible with some partial or full scholarships. But here’s the main point: we’re taking dirt, a vacant lot, some extra materials and creating a very unique form of community engagement that is easily scaled up and emulated by others.
So! Who is WE? Well, obviously Mark Covington and the folks in the vicinity of Georgia Street Community Garden, then us here at DL!. We hope to lead an innovative design process that involves kids and neighbors at the front end of designing this thing and then including a workshop an skills aspect of the program so that kids can build the cars themselves.
Stay tuned for updates on our progress.