In 2001, artists Manuel Diaz Baldrich and Ernesto Quirch Paz began offering free art classes in their depressed Lawton neighborhood of Havana, Cuba. The project quickly evolved into comprehensive community revitalization, fostering civic participation, social cohesion, and investment in place and community. Today, Lawton rings with creative, collaborative energy, the entire neighborhood a rambling art installation. The visual arts are complemented by performing arts; and everything comes together with a joyous street party every six weeks, with music, dance,food and guest artists from around Cuba and abroad.
In the first decade, workshops were held in the streets or a neighborhood park, using the sides of buildings as canvas and found objects to create sculpture. In 2011 an abandoned water tank was transformed into a workshop, performance space and community center.