THANKS TO A MATCHING DONOR YOUR GIFT IN THESE FINAL HOURS WILL BE DOUBLED!
In these divided times, there’s one thing we can all agree on: fruit is delicious! Internationally acclaimed artists Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young) began their mission in 2004 to celebrate the endlessly giving resource of public fruit trees. They started by mapping the locations of fruit trees growing on or over public property in their neighborhood of Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Thirteen years later, the duo has worked in over 30 cities using fruit trees, public space, and collective participation as artistic media to transform communities with sweetness, leaving behind living sculptures that continue to give back.
This winter, Pelican Bomb, A Studio in the Woods, and Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University are bringing Fallen Fruit to New Orleans. The artists will work in partnership with the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways to plant networks of publicly accessible fruit trees in two neighborhoods, along the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle in the Lower 9th Ward and in Pontchartrain Park in Gentilly. Residents and community groups across the city can join in the fun, planting trees in front of their homes, churches, and businesses to provide a much needed resource—fresh, healthy food—to their friends, neighbors, and anybody passing by! The locations of all the trees will be digitally mapped through the Endless Orchard app, making them easy to find wherever you are in the city.
Why is this important?
It’s a tricentennial celebration, so our goal is to plant 300 fruit-bearing trees in January of 2018 in honor of our city. Studies have shown that fruit trees have a bushel of positive impacts: catching rainwater and removing pollutants from the air; supporting the ecosystem of bees, birds, and wildlife; promoting well-being and food security; increasing property values; and creating more beautiful and walkable streets. Researchers have even linked an increased tree canopy to decreased crime rates.
In addition to planting, Fallen Fruit will work with local residents to create fun and enriching programs that celebrate New Orleans’ social histories, neighborhood stories, and the value of generosity and collective action. We've planned a pickle party where residents gather to make delicious pickles from local fruits and veggies; a collectively made magazine; a sno-ball portrait studio, and more!
About the artists
Fallen Fruit use fruit and public space to make the world more beautiful and generous. A collaborative art project that began in Los Angeles in 2004 by making maps of “public fruit”—fruit that grows on or over public property—Fallen Fruit’s practice has expanded to include diverse site-specific artworks that embrace public participation, temporary art installations, and social-media-focused actions. Fallen Fruit’s artworks encourage the public to experience their city as a fruitful place, inviting people to collectively explore the meaning of community and sharing. Fallen Fruit’s Endless Orchard is a Creative Capital awarded project. Recent exhibitions and projects include commissioned works by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; the Athens Biennale; the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha; the Portland Art Museum; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus. Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work.
What will your contribution support?
New Orleans is known for its superstar chefs and its rich food history. You think of gumbo, crawfish étoufée, shrimp po-boys, and chargrilled oysters. But the city’s climate is also perfect for growing an assortment of fruits year-round, including oranges, figs, persimmons, Meyer lemons, mulberries, misbeliefs, and satsumas. And for much of the 20th century, New Orleans was the country’s largest importer of bananas and home to Samuel Zemurray, commonly called “Sam the Banana Man,” who ran the Cuyamel and United Fruit Companies. Fallen Fruit has repeatedly witnessed the universality of fruit and how planting trees, making jam, telling stories, and sharing delicious hand-picked fruit can bring communities together in unexpected and inspiring ways. With your help, we can be part of a new chapter of New Orleans’ food history where all residents have access to fresh produce.
This is a citywide effort for everyone to enjoy! We’re inviting residents across the city to become stakeholders at all stages of the process including as supporters. Your contribution will help Fallen Fruit meet their goal of planting 300 fruit trees, covering the costs of healthy trees, soil, tree tags, park signage, and more. And Phase 1 of the Endless Orchard app began as a successful Kickstarter campaign, making the digital mapping of this New Orleans project even possible. Whether you live in New Orleans or love the city from afar, we hope you'll join us!
Most of the rewards are being produced specifically for this project. We have an awesome selection of artist-designed items ranging from tote bags to fruit jam to limited-edition prints and experiences. And we’ll be introducing new, exciting rewards throughout the project, including one-of-a-kind artworks, so stay tuned. Check out our sweet preview below.
*The Endless Orchard is Fallen Fruit's Creative Capital awarded artwork and phase one was funded by the Muriel Pollia Foundation and everyone who supported our 'phase one' Kickstarter. Check out the web app at EndlessOrchard.com
Risks and challenges
With all socially engaged projects, there are the challenges of reaching local community members and ensuring that our project is fulfilling their needs and desires. The artists are working in two targeted neighborhoods in New Orleans—the Lower 9th Ward and Gentilly. Like so many neighborhoods in the rapidly changing urban landscape, these two areas require residents to come together to navigate challenging issues of shared public space, equitable services, gentrification, and changing populations. Our partners from the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and from the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways are committed to the project in order to continue the work they are already doing to promote healthy communities in New Orleans. Both of these organizations are embedded in their respective areas and agree that Fallen Fruit have identified a creative approach to providing a wanted public resource. We’re working with our partners to do the on-the-ground canvassing necessary to get neighbors on board and involved in the process. While working in public space also creates a lot of behind-the-scenes administrative work, we’ve secured the support to assist with permitting and maintenance and can rely on Fallen Fruit’s tested methods in dozens of other cities.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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