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Lyrics to “America” Become Art in Saginaw, Michigan

Filed under: Acts of Kindness,Art,Economy,Events,Life & How to Live It,National — Tags: , , — Positronic Dave @ 8:06 pm December 19, 2010

A grassroots group of artists have made it so that lyrics to “America” become Art in Saginaw, Michigan. Transforming the lyrics to the Simon & Garfunkle song has become a kind of underground “city pride” in a city that, by all appearances and measures, could really use the support.

Once a city with several hundreds of thousands of residents, in the wake of plant closing by GM, has become a ghosty-town, with less that 50,000 people.

Eric Schantz is a mural painter who decided to do something about that. He and his friends decided to use the lyrics from Simon & Garfunkle’s song “America” to decorate and aprtially cover, all the plywood boarded-up windows and store fronts around the city. Over the next few years this was taken up by others, and so “Paint Saginaw” became an everyman organization that made the slogan “All Gone to Look for America” into ironic source of civic pride.

For Schantz, this was partly autobiographical. The line “Leaving Saginaw to look for America” was something he, and countless other youth, did. In his case he attended college in Kansas. But unlike so many of his fellow youth, Schantz came back.