Transformazium

Community Center | Braddock, PA
Status: Active

A burned-out and abandoned church acquired through the Allegheny County Vacant Properties Recovery Program by four artists for repair and use as a community arts hub.


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Transformazium began in 2007 when four artist friends—Ruthie Stringer, Dana Bishop-Root, Leslie Stem and Caledonia Curry (aka Swoon)—moved to Braddock, PA to revitalize a burned-out, abandoned church and an adjacent lot through the Allegheny County Vacant Properties Recovery Program.

After working together on various projects since 2001, the inspiring ladies of Transformazium decided to collect in one place and pour their efforts into a project that could have a real impact on a struggling community. Making use of their artist skills they began the arduous process of deconstructing the fire damaged portion of the church, simultaneously reaching out to their new neighbors and inviting them to take part in the transformation.

The excitement and optimism inherent in that first year yielded a number of great results including a local resources guide and Family Portrait Project. These successes were not without their challenges however, as the group noted early-on:

We have found ourselves between two realities of our locale. (1) a town marked by industrial collapse, population loss, blight and abandonment, and public health challenges. (2) a town aggressively marketed as a place of opportunity for artists and creative professionals.

Transformazium's story is well detailed at their website (http://transformazium.org) and web log (http://transformazium.org/log/) where you can keep up on their progress.