Winning ScrapFest sculpture installed at Cinnaire's Hope Park

If you made it out to the Old Town Commercial Association ScrapFest this year (and you should have!) then you've already seen The Butterfly Effect. A beautiful nine foot metal arbor created by the team Artistic Iron, it boasts over 80 metal butterflies among it's winding metal vines, roots and branches. It won both the First Place award, and the People's Choice Award, and was quickly snapped up by Cinnaire during ScrapFest's live auction. It now lives in the Hope Garden in REO Town, where Cinnaire hopes it will inspire residents in the area.

"We moved into REO Town in 2003, when there was pretty much nothing going on around here, and people questioned our decision to stay here. They didn't think it was a safe place to work. In fact, many people suggested we move our headquarters out to the suburbs, but I said no way!" Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire president & CEO, explains. "Our whole mission is to move into challenged spaces and transform them. So what would that say about us if we couldn't work in a space that needs transformation?"

For 25 years Cinnaire has been finding creative ways to help communities with their place-making efforts, transforming neglected spaces into well-loved community places. They've been the quiet force behind growth and change in many Michigan neighborhoods over the years, and this summer was no different. The newly created Hope Park will provide REO Town residents and people from the surrounding communities, with a vital space for growing and gathering, reflecting and being inspired.

Andrew Sandstedt, the lead artist with Team Artistic Iron, says that the Butterfly Effect was inspired by the chaos theory. Essentially, the fact that something as small and seemingly ineffectual as the flap of a butterfly's wings can have a huge impact and cause change in other parts of the world. And the idea behind this concept - that small actions have ripple effects - is part of what makes REO Town the perfect neighborhood for Hope Park.

While Team Artistic Iron had intended their piece to be a visual representation of the driving force behind ScrapFest, it speaks just as clearly about the spirit that drives REO Town, Cinnaire, and Lansing as a whole. Even the beautiful park bench, handcrafted by veterans from Zero Day, and placed in Hope Park for people to sit and relax on, is a testament to the power of transformation and redemption in this community.

"Hope Park is a way for us to give a gift to REO Town." McDaniel says, when asked what prompted the garden. "It was a chance to support the Lansing art community, and a wonderful local organization that works with veterans who've served our community. It was also a chance to beautify a very neglected place in the neighborhood, and provide the community with a tangible symbol of hope and transformation. BUt mostly, it was an opportunity to give our community a gift. A way to say thank you. Because we love being a part of REO Town."

Source: Mark McDaniel, Founder & CEO, Cinnaire
Writer: Sarah Hillman, News Editor

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