'The Wire' Stars Announce Plan to Give Back to Baltimore Artists
Wendell Pierce and Sonja Sohn were born in Louisiana and Virginia, respectively, but after spending six years filming hit HBO show The Wire in Baltimore, the actors are invested in their former on-screen hometown as well. Esquire reports that the stars who played Detective "Bunk" Moreland (Pierce) and Detective "Kima" Greggs (Sohn) and their fellow cast members Felicia Pearson and Jamie Hector announced they will invest in a $20 million apartment complex to be located in the city's arts district, with a portion of the apartments reserved at a discounted rate for local artists.
As Pierce told Fusion, the building, which will also include gallery spaces where the artists can display their work, is scheduled for a summer 2017 completion. According to the actor, if all goes well, the group hopes to build row houses and expand the program to other neighborhoods in the future.
In addition to providing safe spaces for locals, the apartment complex will also create jobs. The construction team behind the project will be partially made up of Baltimore residents.
"They’re not going to be the entire workforce, but we wanted to put together a jobs program for people from the community," he said.
It's not the first time that Pierce and Sohn have given back. Since 2007, Pierce has been working to buy back and rebuild homes in his native New Orleans that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Sohn, on the other hand, stayed in Baltimore after the show ended to start a nonprofit called ReWired For Change, that "empowers at risk youth, families and communities living in under-served areas."