In Chicago, can art unite a deeply divided neighborhood?

CHICAGO (AP) — Charlie Branda is not an artist. When she opened an art studio on a stretch of asphalt known as Sedgwick Street, the 53-year-old mom and former commercial banker simply wanted to get to know her neighbors and connect two sides of a Chicago thoroughfare that divides black and white, rich and poor.

But could something like art really help bring together one deeply divided neighborhood in a city, and a country, so desperately in need of unity?

Progress has been slow and interactions sometimes awkward. But the Art on Sedgwick studio has attracted a small core of neighbors who are committed to the cause – and determined to find more to join them. “The way it is now isn’t the way it has to be,” Branda says.

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