Community Cafe

​The Fusebox Community Cafe was a prototype developed through an intergenerational research project guided by local artists (Jason Phelps and Zell Miller III) and led by local students from Eastside Memorial High School and East Austin College Prep (Joe Moreno, Estaphanie Cardoza, Sesh Herrera, Stephanie Sontoya, Kennya Obregon, Phoibe Ysabimana, Cydnei Mathis, Lisa Herrera, Lisbeth Hernandez & Josephine Zambrano).

This project continued the work Fusebox has done over the past four years engaging the Govalle-Johnston Terrace neighborhood, artistic community, city, and other stakeholders to create a more thoughtful and equitable way of developing real estate through the thinkEAST project (a 24-acre real estate development at the heart of the neighborhood). One of the most striking things we learned through our community planning process was that this entire project is, at its heart, a community health project.

Historically, the site was toxic and was literally poisoning the neighborhood before it was cleaned up. For decades the neighborhood has tried to bring in much-needed healthcare services to the area, but to no avail. Through our engagement process, the single biggest request from the neighborhood was access to healthy food. This neighborhood also possesses one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the city. The idea of a community cafe emerged through this process as an authentic, grassroots solution to many of these challenges.

Using the lenses of community health, arts, and culture we see the cafe as an opportunity to address multiple health challenges facing the Govalle-Johnston Terrace neighborhood including access to healthy food, cooking classes, fitness, and cultural expression while simultaneously seeking to preserve the history and culture of the neighborhood.

Our hope is that the Community Cafe prototype developed by the students and community partners will inform and inspire a fully-functional community cafe in the future.

In partnership with: Design Institute for Health - UT Dell Medical School, Eastside Memorial High School, Southwest Key, Mid America Arts Alliance


4 Plus 4 Equals was a unique citywide visual art project designed to raise public awareness and provoke conversation about mental health. Four visual artists and four people in mental health recovery (peers) have co-created art works that illuminate their experiences in new ways that empower and inspire.

4 Plus 4 Equals was a collaborative endeavor produced by HATCH, Via Hope, and Fusebox.