Dr. Crawford at this year’s Keep Building Jackson exhibit. Image: David Lewis

What started as a fun distraction and hobby, a way to cope with progressing Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Scott Crawford’s Keep Building Jackson celebrates its tenth year.

Tiny LEGO pieces modeled after parts of the city of Jackson were first meant to brighten Crawford’s Fondren home for Christmas. When friends saw the display, they urged him to contact the Greater Jackson Arts Council, which offered to showcase it.

“I wanted to present an optimistic, hopeful view of the way Jackson can and will be: a clean, safe community that welcomes everyone, with well-kept houses, bike lanes, sustainable energy sources, accessible streets and sidewalks, public transit, and most important of all, civic pride,” Crawford said in 2012.

To say Crawford is strong and active, not only with his hobby of LEGOs, but in the community is an understatement.

Crawford volunteers on various boards and organizations, advocating for accessible transit, sidewalks, and buildings, as called for in the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Creating a society that welcomes everyone, regardless of ability, is what I’m passionate about,” he says.

What is his favorite part about the whole project? “It is great to see the looks on children’s faces, as they light up and point out all the details they see. But for me, it’s the message that matters most. We can make our city as bright and vibrant as LEGO Jackson if we’re willing to work at it.”

Keep Building Jackson is on display at the Arts Center of Mississippi through January 11. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). Dr. Crawford is usually there in person on Saturday mornings, and other times by appointment (mornings are best.)