Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
We are transforming our blighted Detroit neighborhood into a 21st-century sustainable eco-village.
We are transforming our blighted Detroit neighborhood into a 21st-century sustainable eco-village.
We are transforming our blighted Detroit neighborhood into a 21st-century sustainable eco-village.
Created by
1,511 backers pledged $243,690 to help bring this project to life.

About

AVALON VILLAGE – From Blight to Beauty project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

AVALON VILLAGE – From Blight to Beauty

$243,690

1,511

Welcome to Avalon Village. In the middle of one of Detroit's most blighted and abandoned neighborhoods, Shamayim 'SHU' Harris and her team of engineers, futurists, artists, urban farmers and their nationwide allies are reimagining public and private space. This is an invitation to step into the village with us…

Where schools have been defunded and closed down, we are building a Homework House. Where city streetlights have been repossessed and people left in the dark, we're building cooperatively-owned and operated solar streetlights. Where healthy food offerings are few and far between, we're building a greenhouse-to-cafe food system. 

After years of patient work acquiring the land, seeking the permits, and building our expert team, we're finally ready to birth this baby. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by late-September 2016. It will cost us almost $250,000*, employ dozens of local workers, and rally hundreds of volunteers to our city. 

*Our line-item budget actually totals $241,900

Let us show you around the village!

A Different Way to Power Ourselves – Sustainable Green Infrastructure

Cost: $19,900

Detroit put the world on wheels. We are a city of builders and innovators. We're proud to be the site of Highland Park's first solar streetlight, installed in 2014 by community organization Soulardarity. We're taking the next step in rethinking municipal power and water on our entire block. 

In 2014, the city of Detroit began cutting off water service to nearly half the city residents for non-payment. Our water system is highly indebted and inefficient. While many can't afford their monthly water bill, heavy rains flood   roads and concrete parking lots. We will capture rainwater on roofs and in retention ponds to feed our year-round sub-terrain greenhouses and flush our toilets.  

Rendering: Sustainable Green Infrastructure
Rendering: Sustainable Green Infrastructure

A Different Way to Eat – Greenhouse-To-Cafe Food System

Cost: $25,800

We know how vital a healthy diet is, especially for our children. All around us we see convenience stores with snack foods and very little fresh produce. The good news is that community gardening is on the rise all around us, and so we're converting empty lots into greenhouses and urban farms. Then we'll sell the produce in the Avalon Village Farmers Market and Blue Moon Cafe – built out of an abandoned gas station!

A Different Way to Shop – The Goddess Marketplace

Cost: $28,900

In 2014, the last time it was measured, Highland Park's (official) unemployment rate was over 23%, or nearly four times the national average. Our talented and creative people are ready to work but struggle to find jobs. That's why we created The Goddess Marketplace, an empowerment initiative for women to produce and sell their wares. It's the economic engine of Avalon Village and our entire neighborhood, building the confidence of young local entrepreneurs and artisans. 

We're going to move the Goddess Marketplace outdoors into modular shipping container architecture. It's low-cost and will keep the rents down for our vendors. And we'll be able to hold regular open markets and events to invite the public in to shop. 

 

Rendering: Shipping container installations at Goddess Marketplace
Rendering: Shipping container installations at Goddess Marketplace

A Different Way to Learn – The Homework House

Cost: $154,800

We're turning an abandoned house into a K-12 academic support center for our youth. Our village tutors will provide free mentoring and homework assistance in a safe and nurturing atmosphere filled with love and care. 

Our curriculum will be the world around us: an immersive, exploratory outdoor urban/rural laboratory. To support our studies, the Homework House will be equipped with: 

  • Classrooms 
  • Community Study Space
  • Outdoor Recreational Activity Courts
  • A Computer Lab
  • Micro-Library
  • Aquaponics System
  • STEM Lab
  • Greenspace Kitchen and Pantry
  • Greywater Recycling System 
  • Audio/Visual Production Studio 
Rendering: Activity Courts outside of the Homework House
Rendering: Activity Courts outside of the Homework House

The Homework House is excellent for independent parent households, allowing them the time necessary to unwind and prepare for the next day before their children arrive home. We also understand that some of our families are limited on food and money, so we'll provide a healthy after-school meal to each participant. Some family situations may call for the elders to raise their grandchildren, so the Homework House will help by working with the elders and assisting them with the basic needs of the children.

A Different Way to Heal – The Healing House

Cost: $5,000

In Phase 1, we'll demolish the vacant house at 94 Avalon Street to pave way for a Healing House and an adjacent greenhouse + hoop-house. When completed in a later phase, the Healing House will be a one-stop shop for restorative and rejuvenating healing practices like reiki, yoga and massage.

 

Rendering: Future site of Healing House (far left)
Rendering: Future site of Healing House (far left)

This section does not have stretch or super-stretch goalsas we won't be completing construction of the Healing House until Phase 2 – stay tuned!

A Different Way to Serve – The Moon Ministry

Cost: $7,500

Community service is at the heart of Avalon Village. Since 2001 Shu directs the Moon Ministry, a pluralistic and non-sectarian charitable organization that helps her neighbors “nurture self-knowledge, self-enhancement, and self-realization” through direct service. Supported by private generosity as well as proceeds from the Goddess Marketplace, the Moon Ministry holds annual community concerts (Reggae in the ‘Hood), seasonal events (Hayrides in the ‘Hood) and the annual Hood Camp: Urban Survival for Today’s Youth. At Hood Camp, young people learn all about outdoor living as they camp outside for a night on Avalon Street! 

With your support, we'll upgrade the headquarters of the Moon Ministry at 24 Avalon with a much-needed new front porch, interior/exterior painting and spot repairs, and more. 

Rendering: The Moon Ministry (at right) and Jakobi Ra Park
Rendering: The Moon Ministry (at right) and Jakobi Ra Park

A Different Way to Imagine the Future – A Safe Space for Visionaries

Cost: Priceless

Detroit has always been at the forefront of social change: the cradle of the labor movement, home of the automobile, and now we're redefining community development in a 21st century economy. Urban farmers, start-up technologists, futurists, and visionaries of every kind are descending on Detroit to envision new ways of living and working in a post-industrial economy. We want Avalon Village to be a safe space for visionary thinking. 

 

Risks and challenges

We've consulted for years with some of the smartest contractors in Detroit about our project, and we're confident that their cost estimates are fair and realistic. As with any major construction project, we've added in contingency costs in the case of unexpected occurrences along the way, so we're confident our goal will allow us to do what we say we're going to do with your money in Phase 1: lay the foundation for a beautiful village.

If we reach our *stretch* goals, we'll take things even further. This four-phase construction project is anticipated to take us into 2020 to complete, and cost around $4,000,000 (for materials and paid labor) plus a whole lot of in-kind donations of supplies and volunteer labor.

We can't express how sincerely we appreciate you putting your faith – and your hard-earned Benjamins - in our hands. We'll be totally transparent with you, our donors, along the way as we dig in on this exciting project. Here we go!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    AVALON VILLAGER

    We'll send you a personalized digital thank-you card from Shu!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    116 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    AVALON VILLAGER WITH HONORS

    We'll engrave your name in our Avalon Villagers Wall of Honor, plus send you a personalized digital thank-you card from Shu!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    295 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    POSTCARD FROM AVALON VILLAGE

    Shu will send you a hand-written postcard from Avalon Village, and we'll also engrave your name in our Wall of Honor.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    169 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    **NEW** POSTCARD + AVALON ANTHEM MUSIC VIDEO!

    Donate $25 or more and receive an exclusive download link to the Avalon Village Music Video – AVALON (From Blight To Beauty) – produced by internationally-acclaimed hip hop artist Supa Emcee. The video is shot on-scene at the Avalon Village with Mama Shu and community youth. (All donors who have previously given $25 or more will also receive this additional reward.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    38 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROES COME TO THE VILLAGE

    We'll mail you a signed photo of Edward Sharpe, of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, in front of the completed homework house. Plus, your name on the Wall of Honor and a digital thank-you card from Shu!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 76 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    AVALON TRAILBLAZER

    We’ll lay a personalized brick in the Avalon Villagers Courtyard with your name on it, plus a personalized digital thank-you card from Shu!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 173 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    GODDESS GIFT-BAG

    A Wall of Honor mention and a thank-you card, plus we’ll send you a gift-bag of local goodies from the Goddess Marketplace – Shu’s very own economic empowerment initiative for women in Highland Park. (U.S. addresses only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    114 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    AVALON (SEAT)-BACKER

    In addition to the Wall of Honor mention and a thank-you card, we'll inscribe your name in a customized seat-back of one of the student chairs in our Homework House.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 35 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    HOMEWORK HOUSE BUILDER

    In addition to the Wall of Honor mention and a thank-you card, we’ll also dedicate an engraved desk to you in our newly-renovated Homework House for the youth.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 60 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FOLK OUT WITH US

    In addition to the Wall of Honor mention and a thank-you card, you’ll get an exclusive signed vinyl of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes' new album - signed by all the band! official indie folk band of Avalon Village!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 75 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TOUR DE-TROIT

    We'll take you on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of all of our favorite places in Detroit: from the village itself to the fresh Avalon Bakery for a light healthy lunch, to the riverfront and more! (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 46 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    TOUR DE-TROIT + A LOCAL CUT!

    Every from the TOUR DE-TROIT package, plus we’ll throw in a free haircut from local renowned barber Antonio Wymes, whose Mr. Clippers Barbershop is the best place in town to get the real pulse of the community!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    OK, SIT DOWN

    We'll dedicate a bench in Jakobi Ra park to you and you’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed on the bench; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    YOU LIGHT UP OUR LIFE

    We'll build a solar yard light installation in your honor at the Homework House and you’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the yard; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    **NEW** EDWARD SHARPE VIP LIFETIME TICKETS!

    Lifetime VIP pair of tickets to any Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes headlining* show – whenever you want to see them perform! Plus you'll be inscribed on our Wall of Honor and receive an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    *Headlining shows only, excluding festivals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    **EXTENDED** EDWARD SHARPE VIP LIFETIME TICKETS!

    Back by popular demand! Lifetime VIP pair of tickets to any Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes headlining* show – whenever you want to see them perform! Plus you'll be inscribed on our Wall of Honor and receive an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    *Headlining shows only, excluding festivals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    YOU’RE A VOLLEYBALLER

    We’ll name the Avalon Volleyball Court in your honor and you’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the village; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ACE ON THE COURT

    We’ll name the Avalon Tennis Court in your honor and you’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the village; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    YOU'RE AN EDWARD SHARPE VIP!

    Lifetime VIP pair of tickets to any Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes headlining* show – whenever you want to see them perform! Plus you'll be inscribed on our Wall of Honor and receive an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    *Headlining shows only, excluding festivals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    UP ON THE ROOF

    We’re installing a Green Roof on the Goddess Marketplace at 32 Avalon, and we’ll dedicate it to you. You’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the Goddess Marketpalce; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    AVALON HEALTHY BODIES PATRON

    You’ll be honored as a sponsor of one of our two Avalon Basketball Courts and receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the Village; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    GAZEBO GRANDMASTER

    We'll build our beautiful gazebo in Jakobi Ra Park in your honor and you’ll receive: a commemorative plaque installed in the gazebo; an invitation to our VIP Patron Party at launch time in September. (Transportation to Detroit and accommodations not included)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)