IDLEWILD, Mich. — Lydia Marie Hicks found her way to Idlewild, Michigan, down a winding road.
During COVID, she lost her job. It was an artist-residency-type place, where she lived.
Then her boss wouldn’t let her stay.
“His response to my request to stay was to give me the number to the homelessness prevention,” Lydia Marie Hicks said.
It wasn’t very long till she found solace in a place that is historically dedicated to Black creatives: Idlewild.
Idlewild served as a safe space for Black performers and vacationers throughout segregation.
Now, it's serving as a home for Lydia, a safe place for her to create her art, one she hopes to share with many others, one day.
Lydia bought the Poindexter Motel. Its bones are good, but the moldy walls needed to be redone. Room by room Lydia's fixing up her house herself. The next step will be for the four-room space to become a home to other Black artists, as she hopes to serve as a residency in the future.
Perhaps, the strangest part of Lydia ending up in Idlewild is how she got the money to buy it in the first place: through a grant, and mostly a lawsuit.
“I was involved in an illegal arrest at a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angles,” Hicks said.
After that arrest, Lydia sued. She was one of the main people named on the lawsuit, so she got more of the payout.
The day George Floyd died was the day she left for Michigan.
“My dad’s name is George,” Hicks said.
Which is why Lydia knows Idlewild isn't simply a place she ended up. It's the place she was meant to be, all along.
“Everyone’s just like…so excited I’m here,” Hicks said.