With Project Row Houses in 1993, a community revitalized their neighborhood. The organizer was Rob Lowe. He has gone on to do other similar projects - applying the artist's creative approach to working within the community to encourage them to realize their own dreams.
Today we call that social practice art. It has it roots in Joseph Beuys proposal of social sculpture.
For his creative work through the community, Lowe was awarded a MacArthur.
He speaks tonight on Listening With Ears, Eyes, and Heart: A Gateway to Artistic Value in Unknown Places. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Rob Lowe talk http://portlandartmuseum.org/event/lecture-listening-ears-eyes-heart-gateway-artistic-value-unknown-places/?instance_id=26646 at the Portland Art Museum. Advance tickets strongly suggested - they are free - see the link. Arrive early to get through the check in line. 1219 SW Park 6:30PM Free