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Idea boxes helping community groups gather ideas for the future of Buffalo's East Side neighborhoods

LISC WNY's "Pride in Place" mailboxes are part public art, part suggestion boxes for the community.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dozens of brightly decorated mailboxes have been popping up in neighborhoods in Buffalo's East Side in recent weeks. They may be small, but they come with a big meaning. They're part public art, part suggestion boxes for the community. 

The twenty idea boxes were painted by local artists and installed at Black- and Brown-owned businesses, as well as vacant building and lots in the Delavan-Grider, Broadway-Fillmore, and the MLK-Masten Park neighborhoods. 

Local Iniatives Support Corporation of Western New York (LISC WNY) teamed up with the Buffalo Center for Health Equity for this project, which is being called "Pride in Place" and was funded through a grant from the AARP. 

Project Manager Alexa Wajed says the organizations want to use the boxes to collect ideas from community members about what they'd like to see happen to the spaces in the future, as well celebrate pride in their neighborhoods. 

"The goal is to be able to hunt out these 20 boxes to find them, take pictures of them, post them on social media," she told 2 On Your Side. "Let people know what they make you feel like, or what types of feelings they stir up, or if you're inspired to write a story, or to answer some of the questions that are listed on the idea boxes." 

The mailboxes each have a QR code on them that you can scan with your phone to access the survey questions when you visit, if you don't want to write them down on paper and place them inside. The hope is that some of the ideas collected will be implemented in years to come.

The boxes can be found at the following locations: 

  • Bluegrass Poppies by LaShonda Davis – Grassroots Gardens at 389 Broadway Avenue
  • Greenpeace by LaShonda Davis – CSX Underpass at Northland and Fillmore Avenues
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Kathleen Murphy – The Northland Corridor at Winchester and E. Delavan Avenue
  • It’s who we are by Muhammad Zaman – Northland Avenue at Longview Avenue (West Parcel next to 683 Northland)
  • My Home My Heart by Muhammad Zaman – Belmont Shelter Complex at 1490 Jefferson Avenue
  • Community Camo by J.Dough – Northland Avenue and Chelsea Place (East Parcel next to 683 Northland)
  • Let’s Grow Buffalo by J.Dough – E. Ferry St. and Wohlers Avenue
  • Child artists’ by J.Dough – Canisius College, Jefferson Avenue and Florida Street
  • Year of Unity by Jerusalem Moses – Citizens' Alliance at 836 East Delavan Avenue
  • Under the Same Skies by Kelly Ann Swartz – Matt Urban Center at 293 Paderewski Drive
  • Stay Gold Buffalo by Daryl Reding – Green Space at Clark and Kent Streets
  • The community at work by Dorothea Edwards – 806 Fillmore Avenue
  • North, South, East, West Buffalo by Dorothea Edwards – Belmont Shelter Complex at 871 E. Ferry Street
  • Beyond the Freedom Wall by Jillian Daniels – 60 Hedley Place
  • Beyond the Freedom Wall by Jillian Daniels – Nash House at 36 Nash Street
  • Spectrum_01 by Charles Rockwell – Urban Fruits and Veggies at 324 Glenwood Avenue
  • Thermodynamics_01 by Charles Rockwell – 366 Dodge Street
  • XII by Imani Williamson – The Golden Cup Café at 1323 Jefferson Avenue
  • The Manifestation of Prosperity by Deja Marie – 1153 Jefferson Avenue
  • Bloom by Tara Sasiadek – Canisius College, Hughes Avenue and Meech Street