A group of residents in the small Brandenburg town of Pritzwalk wanted to revitalize its decaying historic center. Their original idea was to beautify the town with sculptures, but they eventually opted for an alternative plan put forward by the artist duo Clegg & Guttmann that involved using art to repopulate Pritzwalk’s old core. Residents were asked to propose projects from seven disciplines – art, photography, fashion, music, theater, language, and dance – which would then be staged in seven vacant storefronts throughout the town for an entire summer. The projects were to be followed by a book chronicling the town’s achievements. Despite some initial skepticism, residents submitted
72 proposals, most of which were put into action. Happily, the revitalizing effects of their efforts persisted beyond the summer. The people of Pritzwalk showed spirit and determination, making the town more attractive and, in the process, becoming more tightly knit as a community. They even founded an art association for good measure.