I had the privilege, the honor, and the experience of hearing Bill Strickland talk. If you don’t know about Bill, finding out about him just might change your life. He’s on a mission to save our country from the cancer of poverty. His solution? Heal the cancer with beauty and opportunity. He’s created environments of opportunities that are beautiful — architecturally, adorned with art made by students, and orchids grown by inner city moms. These environments are sanctuaries of peace, productivity, and promise.
He is one man making a difference. His talk moved me to tears; a triumph of human spirit, persistence, and ingenuity. Born and raised in inner city Pittsburgh, Bill found salvation from a life on the streets and eventual prison through art — ceramics specifically. Over the span of his career he has helped countless inner city families restore dignity, productivity, and a horizon of possibility into their lives.
This has been accomplished through art and education. Bill’s work reminds us that aesthetics are not window dressing in our lives — art is integral, beauty is integral, our environment is integral. He emphasized there is nothing wrong with kids, only problems in their environments. Put these kids in the right environment and they thrive.
Visit the website for the Manchester Bidwell Corporation here and get involved.
Bill is featured in the forthcoming documentary, Waiting for Superman, watch the trailer here: