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Putting a Vacant Lot to Good Use

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Artist Theaster Gates is always up to something. A few years ago, he bought a few houses in the 6900 block of South Dorchester with plans to create an arts community. Now, with the help of Nancy Watrous from the Chicago Film Archives, he's launching a free outdoor film fest in the empty lot next to his house in Grand Crossing. "Our model suggests that any old two-flat could be both a place where people live and where cultural activities happen between friends and neighbors," Gates told the Trib. "We're not a gallery — we have houses where cool cultural stuff happens." [Chicago Tribune]