Climate change is a community issue. Let's create public art murals together that connect, educate, motivate and inspire!
Let's bring community members together and connect them with climate change educators, activists and resources. Let's invite climate actors in our community to design a 'logo' that they feel identifies them, and/or their role. Then, design a mural based on a central theme of Children Of The World. Within the mural artwork we include these 'logos'. A key provides information and links (QR codes?) to each entity and provides information, education, call to action, etc. The murals themselves can become a branding of the concept of climate awareness. Much like McDonalds or Pepsi have a world-wide, recognized brand, let's create a 'Brand" for Climate Awareness. We can create this design anywhere, and create recognition, cohesiveness and shared ownership. Further, I propose that these murals be designed by an artist for brand consistency, but be created - painted - by members of the community including K-12 children (from public and home-schools), members of the business community, local government leaders, special needs folks, artists and non-artists, elder community members, the incarcerated, etc. The more murals we can create and the more diverse participants we can include, the greater reaching our message will be and the greater community buy-in we can create. Art unites us as human beings. So many of us have artistic yearnings but limited means to express. This project can be so personal in so many ways, and can be a way to genuinely connect and empower disenfranchised members of the community to this very important matter of saving our planet.
What actions do you propose?
I propose that we start by identifying climate actors, education resources, and entities in our community. Then we invite them to work on their own or with an artist to create a visible icon to represent them. Next, we identify locations for murals - parking garages, ped/bike underpasses, school hallways, Whole Foods dining room, the side of the new Google building, lobbies of government and private offices, etc. Next, we design the mural using these local entities icons along with a recognizable brand of Children of the World artwork. We invite community members to help create the actual murals.
- Design – Running a school-wide or city-wide contest would, yes, advance our goal of educating our community, and that is a very popular, successful method for this type of call to artists. My vision is larger in scope; to link Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” theme to Children of the World – given that future generations are the ones to whom we are leaving this world, and our actions as individuals, communities, and nations affect our global community. By partnering with Disney and leveraging their global reach and brand recognition, it would immensely facilitate our goal of creating impactful murals that further everyone’s awareness around climate change.
I am especially inspired by this possibility because my Great Aunt, Mary Blair, Walt Disney’s friend and a favored artist, created all of the original artwork for It’s a Small World for the World’s Fair in Chicago. While Disney retains the copyright to the It’s a Small World theme, my family retains the copyrights to the artwork. I believe partnering with Disney for this important project is a distinct possibility, however since this project is in the conceptual stage I have not yet approached them for approval. However, I do have access to copyrights for much of Mary’s art and can use those designs, or we can create our own. This proposal is open to all design options.
As I have outlined in the proposal, the whole purpose of this project is to identify entities working with climate change, and link them to community members looking for a place to connect and, ultimately, act. Program components include an invitation to organizations and entities working for climate change, an assignment of identifying visual icons, and a visual key, e.g., web address, QR codes or signage, to facilitate connection of resources and actions.
One last note: Today I am in China on a dream excursion. I am excited by travel and so inspired by the things I see and learn. Everywhere I go I see small, but important efforts by the people of China to act on behalf of the planet in ways that inspire me as an American and global citizen. As I move through the city of Hangzhou, I see skyscraper apartment towers completely draped with laundry hanging out windows and off of balconies, drying in the sun. I see composting and recycling bins on the bustling public streets, and business people hurrying along with their re-usable drink mugs. Electric scooters glide down every alley and highway. Yet smog is so thick I can’t see the blue sky. The people here are clamoring for solutions, and are already taking action to the extent that they can. These people with rich roots in art are ready to do more, if only they can be connected with options for action. Public art murals adorn every community here, and tell a story to connect people of all demographics. With Children of the World, we can be a part of that.
Thank you for your support of this proposal. I realize it is ambitious and unique. I am an artist – this is the way I relate to the world, and this is how I can help.
Who will take these actions?
We will need City of Boulder and C3 to help identify and engage climate actors. Then help identify and secure permissions for mural locations. Finally, we will need to identify and invite organizations to participate in the creation of the murals.
Jane Goodall’s youth-led program would be an excellent partner and resource for implementing murals all over the world. Roots and Shoots is currently established in 130 countries – that’s a good start. =) However, I would like to expand the call to artists to include more than just young school children. I imagine this project going beyond the usual school systems (who, frankly, already have some access to organized art projects) to include special needs people, elderly, and community members who may or may not identify as artists but would like to participate. Business leaders, political leaders, home-schooled students, and the incarcerated are other bodies that could derive benefits while soliciting exposure for the Children of the World project.
Working with children to create the murals is included in my original proposal. I realize we want to start somewhere, and I certainly don’t want to exclude our local kids as a resource. This proposal is inclusive of children, and seeks to cast the net far and wide beyond that demographic.
What are the key challenges?
There may be legal issues in terms of securing permissions, viewing liens etc, and the need for safety while having members of the community participate in creating murals. There will be costs involved for supplies and equipment depending on locations. Hopefully our mission will rally the support of local business owners and individuals willing to help and participate.
What are the key benefits?
The primary outcome that inspires me to write this proposal is the engagement of our community members in creating something important. To empower every day people who may not see a way to participate in climate action - this is for those of us who are not scientists and researchers, investors or activists - we may feel isolated, and that it is all in the hands of someone else. This puts action in our hands. It makes us a part of the world stage and gives a voice to those who have no other way to express our concerns and cares and fears, and to contribute actions and ideas. It connects the actors with those who are impacted, and makes us part of the dialogue, while directly enhancing our community through artwork.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Well, I don't see costs as a negative side effect. Rather, I see it as an opportunity for job creation for artists, as well as an opportunity for partnership with companies who may very well be looking for a means to engage in action around the issues of climate.
Cost Calculation: Yes, we do need to put a dollar amount on this project and identify resources. The factors which will influence this include the location, condition of the surface to be painted, whether it is interior or exterior, and what surface prep and paint supplies will be needed. Then, we must factor the amount of design detail and the time it will take to create. An estimate for production has so many variables that I hesitate to offer a fixed number, but I understand the committee needs a place to start. A reasonable calculation begins at $15 per square foot for supplies, equipment, and artistry. That said, once a location and design have been selected, I have great skill and experience at calculating a project budget and adhering to it. Bottom line, there is an original cost for a local and original design, and then a secondary budget for taking this project worldwide.
How to finance this gig: I see corporate partnership and sponsorship playing a big role in Children of the World. Many major corporations worldwide have programs that support green initiatives, and I believe many would welcome the opportunity to have a wide-reaching, well-organized program such as this with which to partner as both a financial supporter and participant. I see all kinds of corporations being on board, from well-established green companies like Google and Whole Foods to some of our worst-offending corporations hoping to improve their brand reputation.
FURTHER – I also propose that we introduce legislation to the Colorado House of Representatives that 3% of revenue from marijuana sales be earmarked for climate change action.
Just as climate change is an on-going issue, so will be artwork. As new players engage, artwork can be expanded to include them. As new buildings and locations for murals are built, new murals can be created. Artwork can be updated and recreated as a growing, changing part of the future of climate issues.
Related proposalsValue not set.
As a large-scale mural artist, I have had the opportunity to create hundreds of murals in my community, including commercial and residential, public art and private. I hand-painted the largest mural in Colorado, 'The Spirit of Niwot" completed in 2011. With this vast experience, I feel very confident that this proposal can be accomplished and be successful on multiple levels.