ArtPOP: Helen Hunt Phase Two Celebration, Oct. 11, 4-7 p.m., Helen Hunt School, 917 E. Moreno Ave., free, concretecouch.org.
hen District 11 closed the 114-year-old Helen Hunt Elementary School in 2016 and sold it to the Lane Foundation, the intent was always to ensure it remains a community space serving the Hillside neighborhood. To help execute that vision, local DIY art and community service organization Concrete Couch
took on the task of revamping the playground to not only remain inviting to neighborhood kids, but to attract families to the old school, which now houses multiple community-minded nonprofits. Phase one of the playground project, completed last year, included building swings, a climbing tower, slides and more, all inspired by the design input of neighborhood kids and teens. Phase two, which Concrete Couch and Hillside volunteers finished this summer, called for the building of a massive dragon sculpture and slide — appropriately named “Helen the Dragon.” Help Concrete Couch celebrate phase two’s success with a community get-together at the playground, including live music by the Concrete Couch Jam Band, a barbecue and potluck and family activities. Concrete Couch director Steve Wood says attendees can also
participate in model-making for phase three, which includes creating a cool new gate for the playground.