Community campaigning for Conely Library reading garden, sculpture

One of several sculptures proposed by artist for Conely Library reading garden

Chadsey High and Munger Middle Schools, along with numerous other public schools on Detroit’s near southwest side, are now closed. The multinational Claytown neighborhood, however, is still fighting for its children’s education, says Sheila Crowell, a long-time community activist. Their latest project is the installation of a  reading garden, including a sculpture by renowned local artist J. Monte Martinez, to enhance the grounds of the public Conely Library at 4600 Martin.

“Since we lost all of our plans for Dingeman Playfield and the Safe Routes to School money, we have really been down, and I am hoping this will help to give us that fight, that we need to make another day happen for our neighborhood,” Crowell said. “We will be giving to the neighborhood plans that will show we have always been a diversified neighborhood, in a garden where our neighborhood will be able to learn about each other’s roots, at the same time giving our one and only library more of a reason to never shut their doors on our youth and families of Claytown.”

Martinez is the Creative Director & Founder of  the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, at  3041 West Vernor Hwy. He is proposing several possible sculpture models for the reading garden. Crowell is asking for arts professionals to send letters of support for Martinez’ project to Cledos Powell, Detroit Public Libraries Assistant Director for Facilities, 5201 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48202, or to Mr. Powell’s phone number is (313) 481-1883 .

A 48210 community meeting on this ARTS PROJECT  will be held Thurs. Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. The Boys and Girls Club at 3910 Livernois near Martin.

“To everyone you “can not be any later than 6:10pm, “the rules will not allow you to vote”. Please we need every vote, join us by helping to make a difference,” says Sheila Crowell. For further information, contact J. Monte Martinez at 888.495.ARTSPHONE, cell 734-255-9477 , or at His gallery has a website at, and is open Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Sheila Crowell can be contacted at 

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