1000 Artists is a public art-making installation on the Washington Mall which will occur on January 21 and 22nd 2013.
Imagine Washington DC on the day before the inauguration and everybody there keeps seeing people making art everywhere - at the hotels, monuments, museums and tourist attractions. There is a feeling of discovery and a vibe of creation that warms hearts in the middle of winter.
Then as the Inauguration is proceeding, right nearby there are legions of people making quietly art, no matter who is president and no matter what the weather is. These artists will neither be attacking or defending, they will be present: reflecting, innovating and creating.
The vision came to me when I created a Painting at the Inauguration of President Obama in 2009. You can see a video of that here. And now thanks to my collaborators Jon Bailiff, Tara Edwards and many others, we are making 1000 Artists at the next presidential inauguration happen.
The making of art is the ultimate form of democracy and the Presidential Inauguration, the peaceful transition of power is an ideal occasion for this public art installation.
How We'll Use the Funds
This initial funding will go towards the logistics and promotion that is required to pull off such a large public art installation. This will include logo and website development in addition to other logistical support to help people participate in the 1000 artists installation.
How We'll Use Additional Funds
We want to make it easy for folks to participate in 1000 Artists, so we will use extra funds to pay for supplies such as, white jump suits and orange hats, stickers, and All Weather Sketchbooks. We want to have hot chocolate and hand warmers available. It would be ideal if we could subsidize motel or hotel rooms for all 1000 participants! We'd also like to enable the website so that every participant can have their own page where they can show their art and raise their own funds.
Do you want to be one of the 1000 people making art? Let me know. You don't need to call yourself an 'artist!'
What if I don't like the guy who ends up being president, won't my participation in this event look like I'm supporting him?
1000 Artists was established way before we knew who would be president and is designed to send a unique message about the value of art to our democracy which needs to be innovative and culturally rich. We expect that this "army" or "congress" of artists will reflect this moment in history in a way that is diverse, original and dynamic- no matter who is elected president.
The inauguration occurs no matter what the weather is and so does 1000 Artists. We will have waterproof sketchbooks and hand warmers, you will bring waterproof clothing and we will be present, reflecting and innovating. Our message is that much stronger when we show up, no matter what the weather is.
My deepest patriotic urges come from the making of art. I love the USA because we can make whatever art we want. Yet at the same time our society is suffocated by the lack of support for the making of art in both government and corporate domains. The average citizen shops, plays sports, twiddles on computers, phones and things all the time and yet is intimidated by even the idea of making art.
Our electoral process has become a shouting match of very expensive sound bites that feed on the fears of human beings. Electoral politics are now dominated by mostly negative advertising campaigns that work to shut down empathy for the opposing candidate and cause people to be depressed and not to go vote for the opposing candidate and to energize voters, through the use of fear, to vote for the attacking candidates. “These ads allow people to take the easy way out, not studying issues and just relying on emotions,” says Stanford University communications professor Shanto Iyengar.
Both empathy scores and creativity scores are down in the US over the last 10 -20 years. This needs to shift for both the economy and the soul of our country.
When multitudes of people create art in public, more people will want to make art, and the more people engaged in the making, the more they become active, creative, and engaged citizens.” We hope to make the making of art an everyday occurrence in people’s lives.
This public art installation of 1000 and more people engaging in the making of art is designed to shed the light. We are working hard to create the infrastructure so that it will be relatively easy for 1000 people to show up at the inauguration and make art.
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- (40 days)