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When Heartland Visioning invited residents in Topeka, Kansas to re-imagine their community, they dreamed of an arts district where they could meet-up, shop and celebrate their creativity. To rally the community behind the effort, artist Carol Bradbury held workshops around the city, gathering the ‘marks’ of the people to design a gallery of outdoor banners and rewrite the community’s narrative. A Bloomerang event and the art that comes from it serve as a metaphor and vehicle for creating stronger streets and neighborhoods, organizations and businesses.
Our goals were to 1) build community engagement and buy-in for an emerging arts district 2) show evidence of a turnaround happening in the district by using color to mark the streets of an unsafe neighborhood 3) Raise community pride
The creation of Bloomerang projects hinge on community engagement. It’s the result of working together to create something bigger than ourselves.
To rally the community behind the emerging arts district, the artist held workshops around the city to gather the people’s ‘marks’. Nearly 300 people from the ages of 1 to 93 participated, helping to create a garden of diversity in a community that is known for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Brown vs. Board of Education, a civil rights victory against “separate but equal” schools.
From the crowd-sourced artworks she created designs for a gallery of 26 unique outdoor banners that now line the streets of NOTO. The artist then worked with the city to allow businesses and organizations to show their support of the project by underwriting the project costs in exchange for adding their names to the banners. Staff at the neighboring Topeka Rescue Mission installed the banners.
The artist conceptualized, implemented and produced the project. Funding came from the sales of banner sponsorships from local businesses and organizations. Previously deserted and unsafe, the emerging arts district revealed its new soul and received coverage in the New York Times and on a Microsoft “Bing It On” commercial.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.