Addams made a connection between imagination and building world community. She did not agree with the thinking that art and entertainment are only means of escape. She expected much from the arts, imagination, and people (Griffith, 2009). Addams believed that communities emerged from all their members, their unique talents and existences created a vibrant social life (Deegan, 2010). THE IDEA OF HULL HOUSE After her graduation in 1881, she started to think on what she would do with her life. She was not sure what to do. From her experiences traveling through Europe, she became aware of the horrible situation that poor and low-paid working people lived in some cities of England, Germany, and others. She knew that there were other women like herself with plenty of money and free time but no real sense of purpose. She wondered if these two different groups could understand each other (Sammartino, 1993). THE PROJECT On September 18, 1889, Hull-House opened its doors in the heart of Chicagoâ€™s west side. Men, women, and children of all ages and ethnicities came to Hull-House. Italian, Polish, German, Irish, and Russian immigrants stopped in. Hull-House grew and spread until in time it came to be a kind of community center for the whole of Chicago, when nearly 2,000 people crossed through its doors every day2. Addams especially wanted to help the children. A kindergarten was organized with the help of a volunteer, Jenny Dow. In less than a month, twenty-four children attended the kindergarten, and many others were on the waiting list. Clubs for older girls and boys, and young working men and women, were implemented as well. Older people in the neighborhood had problems too. They were lonely, sick, and unable to work. On January 1st, 1890, Hull House held a party just for them. The event was so successful that became an annual event.
Taken from: www.hullhouse.org
A Comparative Study of Two Great Arts-Based Community Projects