Taubman College Architecture Lecturer Ellen Donnelly's project BLOOM TOWN receives Black Rock Arts Foundation grant

Ellen Donnelly, a Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning lecturer in architecture, was awarded a $5,000 grant through the Black Rock Arts Foundation for her project entitled BLOOM TOWN.

Donnelly’s BLOOM TOWN is a project that simultaneously remembers a once thriving American City and celebrates its re-birth as the American city with the most potential for creative, social, political and environmental change. Hoping to inspire change through the interaction that happens during the creative act of constructing between local residents and project volunteers, BLOOM TOWN is a community-based project that seeks to engage participants in a range of capacities from project implementation to eventual use and enjoyment. It is a work-in-progress-continually evolving and changing, indexing the passing of time, and engaging multiple communities through time-that heightens awareness of ones surroundings: visually, cognitively, spatially and haptically.

According to Donnelly, the gardens “are akin to the community gardens established in the 1970s in New York; these gardens became thriving centers for activity, life and art in then-impoverished neighborhoods.”

Donnelly’s project will address six residential city parcels in a Detroit neighborhood that will be transformed into monochromatic gardens within the footprints (foundation walls) of razed houses, marking the ground with reference to the history of each site.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), headquartered in San Francisco, supports and promotes community-based interactive art and civic participation.

To read more about BLOOM TOWN, visit the

Black Rock Arts Foundation 2010 grant site.