Detroit native, Alexander Vlachos, is the creator and mastermind behind the Greater Impact House emerging in Detroit in 2021. The project takes a unique perspective to supporting artistic freedom. The project is geared towards established artists that are focused on creating artwork and music without the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any other mind-altering substances.
Rewinding time, we glimpse back to when Vlachos saw the need for a substance-free home for artists in Detroit. Inspiration for the house came from Vlachos days at Assemble Sound, where he would record and observe residents, how they ate, how they recorded, although he never was able to see the extent of their living environments. It was until his partner Karianne spent time at had the artist residency The Forge, when he saw a sense of the day to day living environment.
“I noticed there was a shift in communication between artists that use and my own experience of not using,” tells Vlachos “I then wondered why can’t we come across a residency that we know is a safe haven? A space for sober intentions, sober creations. A space where you can leave substances to the wayside and focus on intentions, life, career, and where you’re trying to drive yourself next.”
The music composer and alumnus of Wayne State University is seeking donations for the project, in an effort to create
what he has always wanted to find as an artist. “Being raised in a way that was abusive or challenging to my nurturing future was something that I kind of started really taking the process of understanding, it changed my way of how I want to change and create things in general” he says. He is striving for a place that embraces sustainability, community that is goal-driven and focused on living a healthy lifestyle, creative support, and inspiration.
The house, already in possession of Alexander Vlahos and embarking on a journey to become the home he envisions, was obtained through auction. Vlachos has plans to move into the Greater Impact House within the coming months, “to act as like the first, curated recipe of a resident that creates in the space, not to be a landlord, but to be transparent and share the experience and information with artists that could potentially take the initiative themselves to become my neighbor” and hopes to be among artists that find the same comfort in a substance-free environment as he does.
The dedicated mission of the house is to be something that seats an additional cluster of awareness in the art world. “When you look at substance use, and the art world it just tends to go hand in hand. We want to offer an opportunity for a divide” says Vlahos, “I’m not trying to fix anyone, change the neighborhood or contribute to gentrification. It’s just offering the opportunity for something different. It’s just created the chance to create in Detroit, and then dedicate that time and energy, and then focus on where we can build greater establishment with the neighborhoods.”
The house, while still in its beginning stages of conception, stands next to an open lot next door, where Greater Impact House foresees sculpting a garden or an outdoor stage where events can be held.
Currently, the Greater Impact House is focusing on raising awareness for the project, fundraising for renovation, and holding art exhibitions and performances during this stage of the house’s development. Although the house is not yet looking for residents, it is offering the space as inspiration to artists, building connections, and believing the right artists will find the Greater Impact House when the time is right.
If you’re interested in making a contribution to the renovation of the Greater Impact House and for the latest updates on the campaign, please click here. Aside from monetary donations, the Greater Impact House is also accepting donations of materials for house renovation.