almaportrait

“It’s about making spaces inclusive and welcoming. It means a lot more than just saying you are welcome here, it is being part of the community so that the community gets a sense that we are an asset to them.” From “An Interview with Director of Buffalo Arts Studio Alma Carrillo Lopez”, Karibu News

 Maybe a quarter-mile square of the original residential area remains, but the connections travel far beyond those who still live in the Fruit Belt. There are many people who return daily or weekly, with even more coming in the summer for the famed Fruit Belt Picnic. The impact of the place extends well beyond its land but its people are dependent upon that land existing. Ms. Redden says “I mean, I still say I live in Fruit Belt, and I don’t even live over there. But I am also over there all the time. I was there today.” From “The Fruit Belt: What It Means to Invest In a Neighborhood”, Karibu News

Lemon Street Connection is the re-named, edited version of the above story that appears in the recently released anthology, Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology, available from Talking Leaves Books on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

“There are a few kinds of listening that have served me. There is formal listening, as in school or on tours. There is the informal listening of stories from porches and street corners and dinner tables. And last, there is an atmospheric listening: the wind in the silver maples, the float of children’s voices, or the deep silence and resonance of a long abandoned church, interpolated with the coos and warbles of pigeons who, like the lilies of the field and the sparrow, do not worry for their shelter, because they are sheltered under the beautiful and derelict auspices of Sacred Heart. All of these types of hearing have their place in this story.” From “In the Shadow of the Sacred Heart” , Block Club Magazine