About & Contact Info


This creative placemaking initiative aims to transform the urban forest where the Pruitt-Igoe housing development once stood into a public space that preserves the remaining 33 acres of green space and cultivates community through beekeeping and urban agriculture. Drawing parallels to the depleting population of bees (colony collapse disorder) and the challenges of activating vacant space in post industrial “shrinking cities”, the project intends to redirect the conversation surrounding Pruitt-Igoe by developing creative strategies that both memorialize the past and provide opportunity for the future. By working tougher, Pruitt-Igoe can end on a positive note by transforming one of the worst failures of public housing into a leading example of revitalization.

ABOUT the Artitst

Born in Lima, Peru, Juan William Chàvez is an artist and cultural activist who explores the potential of space through creative initiatives that address community and cultural issues. He has exhibited at venues such as Art in General, Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, White Flag Projects and Van Abbemuseum. Chàvez founded Boots Contemporary Art Space (2006-2010), a non-profit organization that offered support to emerging artists and curators. Since 2010, Chàvez has focused on socially-engaged projects and collaborations in North Saint Louis. Projects include Urban Expression for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary and Northside Workshop. He has received awards and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Art Matters and the Gateway Foundation. Chàvez holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

To get involved  in the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary or to inquire about artist lectures, panel
discussions, socially engaged workshops, interviews and press images
please contact Chavez at juanwilliam@juanwilliamchavez.com
Address: 2307 Cherokee St. 3rd fl, Saint Louis, MO 63118, USA
Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary has received awards and grants from the following organization

Grantee Kindle Project Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation