Montgomery Creativity Attracts National Support for Revitalization Work


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 11, 2020) Today, the Center for Community Progress announced six Montgomery, AL residents have been selected to join the 2020 Community Revitalization Fellowship; a nationwide training program that aims to grow resident-driven efforts to combat vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.

For 2020, Fellows will travel to creative placemaking sites across the country to experience the work of their peers and receive expert-led training and leadership development on how to use the arts to transform vacant homes and lots. 

“Neighborhood vacancy and abandonment solutions have to be as creative as the problems they solve,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, CEO and President of the nationally focused Center for Community Progress. “These resident-leaders are already innovating in their backyard. We are excited to invest resources and education to help them expand their work.”

Montgomery’s Civil Rights History Work Attracts National Attention

Fellows from Montgomery were recognized for their ongoing work to revitalize neighborhoods across the city through creative placemaking; which leverages the arts to transform vacant properties. Residents there have leveraged vacant buildings and lots to foster collaborations between artists, writers, and business owners to revitalize sites that include the home of well-known Civil Rights Activist Claudette Colvin.

“Montgomery’s work is more than a local win. We believe their efforts can help cities and neighborhoods across the nation,” said Courtney Knox, Vice President and Director of National Leadership and Education at Community Progress.

Local Non-Profit, Friends of Montgomery Clean City Commission, to Serve as
National Institutional Partner for CRF

Friends of Montgomery Clean City Commission, which works to strengthen and empower neighbors to engage in community action, will serve as the Institutional Partner by providing guidance and mentorship to Montgomery, AL Fellows.

Montgomery, AL Participants in the Community Revitalization Fellowship

Montgomery’s Friends of Montgomery Clean City Commission, a focused effort of Neighborhood Services, will lead the work of six CRF participant-community leaders from the city including:

  • Kevin King
  • Ka-Santa Sanders
  • Iesha Brooks
  • Aquan Robinson 
  • Wade Preston
  • Rhonda Thompson

“We are thrilled to have been selected to be a part of the 2020 Center for Community Progress Community Revitalization Fellowship Program,” said Amanda Miller, Director of the  Friends of Montgomery Clean City Commission.

“This will be a great learning and sharing experience for our community. We already feel a momentum for change in our city, but this will enable us to take those hopes and dreams and turn them into actions.”

Fellows will learn best practices from cohort members in Reading, PA and Fitchburg, MA whose neighborhood projects range from alleyway concerts to main street activations.

The Community Revitalization Fellowship is made possible by grant funding from the Oak Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. For more information on the program, Fellows, or neighborhood revitalization, contact or call (877) 542-4842 ext. 153.

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2020.


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