Mike Weikert, Bernard Canniffe, Luke Williams, Ryan Clifford, Hayley Griffin, Alex Pines and Bryan McDonough

HERO Family Resource Center

Grant Awarded: $19,000

HERO Family Resource Center is a community organization which empowers people of Hale County, AL, and surrounding areas through education and access to housing opportunities.

PIECE Studio and The Center for Design Practice, at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), intend to partner with HERO Family Resource Center in Alabama to develop a creative strategy that benefits and promotes HERO.

HERO is a community organization that empowers the citizens of Hale County, Alabama and surrounding areas through education and access to opportunities.

In the initial phase of the project we intend to take a small team of designers, photographers and writers for a three-day cultural immersion to understand the specific needs and expertise of HERO as well as to understand what role they play in the town and surrounding community. We feel that this immersion is essential to us understanding how HERO interacts with community as well as being instrumental in us producing a successful design response. We see the process being led and informed by the client and community.

Our OBJECTIVE will be to get people to HERO and our audience are the people who reside in the community that are currently living in substandard housing, and that haven't yet engaged with/or heard of HERO AND those not educated about home ownership and financial independence. We also intend to reach out to a national community and inform them of the many positive stories of HERO and how HERO has impacted the local community and economy.

We want to focus on community empowerment and not community dependency. Our messages will be positive, informative, empowering, graphic, direct engaging, that work on the micro and macro levels.