If you go to the URL, you will see a photograph of Dennis.
Dennis Livingston, activist and artist, dies
An early voice for urban jobs creation, he was a pioneer at Station North Arts District's Cork Factory
By Jacques Kelly, The
September 21, 2011
Dennis Livingston, an urban activist who called for jobs creation and a clean environment and who was a pioneer in the Station North Arts District near
"There were those who came out of the 1960s who lost their vision for social change, but Dennis was not one of them," said Joseph McNeely, director of the Central Baltimore Partnership. "He just stayed there and said we can do better. He kept finding new places in
He was active with the Black Panthers in the 1960s in
Friends said Mr. Livingston was a highly skilled carpenter. After moving to
"Dennis worked without fanfare and was one of the most principled persons I have ever met," said a friend, Michael Seipp, who lives in Lauraville. "He had a credo. He believed in democracy and for the guy on the bottom. He believed strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to lead a quality life."
He formed the Baltimore Jobs in Energy Project to train low-income residents to get jobs in weatherization, energy conservation and, in later years, lead-paint abatement.
"He was always happiest wearing a tool belt or designing a graphic presentation of complex ideas," said Ron Halbright, a co-worker at Jobs in Energy. "Dennis was a unique combination of community, environmental and labor visionary, hands-on master carpenter and trainer and day-to-day neighborhood activist."
In the 1980s, Mr. Livingston was also a vice president of
"He believed, early on, we can rebuild our economy by retrofitting buildings to save energy," said a friend, Tom Chalkley, a cartoonist and social organizer. "He lived an unbelievable full life. He … wasn't afraid of anybody."
Friends said Mr. Livingston observed that
Mr. Livingston also became an advocate for low-income residents living in the Greenmount West neighborhood adjacent to his home.
"One way is to get rid of the poverty," he told a City Paper reporter in 2003. "The other is to get rid of the people."
Friends said that he constantly reminded city officials of the importance of keeping housing affordable and livable for the residents there.
"When Dennis believed in something, he went all the way," said a friend, Mylo Celsy, director of the Baltimore Trades Guild.
Mr. Livingston has been a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners since 1972. He had served on the boards of directors of the Loading Dock, Baltimore Employment Network, Maryland Citizen Action, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore and South Baltimore Home Maintenance Program.
"Dennis brought incredible energy, joy and creativity to anything he did, whether it was politics, art or just family dinners. He turned the chore of wrapping Christmas presents into an opportunity to be creative. … On Christmas morning, it looked like a sculpture garden under our tree," said his stepdaughter, Timi Gerson of
Plans for services are incomplete.
In addition to his stepdaughter, survivors include his life partner of 23 years, Carol Higgs, also an artist; a brother, Craig Livingston of
Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun