The Power of Art

Uniting and Healing through Creativity

The cities of Coral Springs and Parkland have been selected together as a finalist in the running to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art. More than 200 cities applied, but Coral Springs and Parkland, along with 13 other cities, were invited to submit a full proposal.

More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found on http://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.

Why did you apply for the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge?
On February 14, 2018, a shooter entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killed 17 people, severely wounded 17 more and tormented over 3,000 students and faculty. Northwest Broward has been shaken to its core by the ensuing seven minutes. We are still discovering the magnitude of the ongoing effects of this event on our community.

As part of the healing process, we proposed to Bloomberg Public Art Challenge a curated series of five temporary public art installations together called The Power of Art: Uniting and Healing through Creativity. These public artworks will be created with the community, providing a variety of opportunities to participate in socially engaged public art programming and cathartic experiences. The artworks will be presented over two years and will serve as public manifestations of the healing process and the community’s vision of change and hope for the future.

Artists will engage the range of individuals affected and variety of ways people feel comfortable participating, based on cultural background, age and personal preferences. We have chosen Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt, David Best, Kate Gilmore, and Steven & William Ladd with the help of Via Partnership, a public art consulting group who specializes in working with artists and communities. Via will continue working with us to select another Florida-based artist of color to make sure that all voices are heard.

This project will draw on and support Coral Springs Museum of Art’s art therapy program Healing with Art, which began as an immediate response to the shooting and will expand and continue. Healing with Art will be one key component of community engagement for the public artworks, with art therapy activities taking inspiration from each artist’s work/process and dovetailing with community-building activities, while continuing to provide much-needed intimate, restful space for individuals. The Power of Art will provide a public manifestation of the community’s healing process, represent our hopes for the future, and create additional opportunities for conversation and healing together.

Where will these 5 temporary art projects take place?
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is one of 35 public high schools in the Broward County Public School system. Students from Parkland and Coral Springs make up the student body. Together, our cities are working towards hope. The City of Coral Springs is taking the lead on this application as we have the staff capacity to manage it on behalf of both cities. However, in spirit, we are working as one community.

The projects will be sited across both communities with a focus on places where residents gather. Sites may include the City Halls in both Parkland and Coral Springs, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, The ArtWalk in Coral Springs, North Community Park in Coral Springs which shares a border with Parkland, and the Coral Spring Center for the Arts, home to the Coral Springs Museum of Art.

There will also be sites for various kinds of engagement and community activities and we will endeavor to reach across the community and make use of various sites community-wide for workshops and activities.

Who will the project reach?
It is our goal to engage the broadest possible audience, reaching students, teachers, administrators, parents, siblings, first-responders and anyone in need of healing or who wants to support the community’s healing process. The shooter targeted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but this event has had a ripple effect throughout the community and nearly every individual has been affected.  To this end, we have selected multiple artists who will work with our community to create very different artworks using a range of approaches, styles and processes, that will reach different people in different ways. We are still working to select an additional artist of color from Florida to be sure the project is inclusive and creates spaces in which all voices can be heard.  We hope that each artist’s work will provide a unique invitation or entry point that together will lead to a greater sense of community.

Who are the Artists and why did you select them?

  • Miami-based Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt create public artworks recognized worldwide for their iconic qualities. Their work has received numerous awards including from the American Institute of Architects and Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network. They will work with the community to conceive a temporary “social sculpture” that suggests a better world. Since they are based in Miami, they will be able to engage with the community in a flexible, ongoing way throughout the development of the project.
  • Internationally acclaimed artist David Best, known for building elaborate temples, modifying and decorating vehicles, and creating intricate found-material sculptures, will work with us to design and build a 30’ temple that has no religious meaning but holds the community’s images and aspirations. In past work with grieving parents, students and first-responders, Best has found that the process and resulting temple help rebuild hope.
  • Kate Gilmore is the recipient of numerous awards/honors, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Art Prize/ Art Juried Award (Grand Rapids), Rauschenberg Residency Award, and the Rome Prize. She will engage with the community to create an ongoing performance piece that invites individuals and self-formed groups to engage physically with an architectural installation, constructed to bring people together, make their presence known, express themselves through gesture and use endurance and physical interaction as the basis for communication.
  • Steven and William Ladd will bring Scrollathon to our community, working with all ages and abilities to create thousands of handmade beads, which will become a large-scale public installation on an exterior façade. The brothers have facilitated these engagements since 2006, receiving major funding from the NEA and the Knight Foundation through their museum partners.

We hope that each artist’s work will provide a unique invitation or entry point that together will lead to a greater sense of community and create opportunities for hope.

Who will manage the project?

  • Via Partnership will lead the curatorial program and provide public art project management. Via is a public art consulting group that develops comprehensive public art strategies and facilitates public art projects and has previously worked in Broward. Via will also work with the project team to select another Florida-based artist of color, ensuring this is an inclusive project that honors and engages the entire community.
  • A dedicated project manager will be contracted to work with the team and lead day-to-day operations of the project under the supervision of Susan Hess Krisman, Director of Development Services at the City of Coral Springs. This project manager will have strong community outreach and engagement experience and will build relationships with the community.
  • An Advisory Committee will be convened with representatives from each City, the County, the Museum and Broward Health, and will meet at least monthly to oversee the project and provide input on key decisions. The project manager will staff the Advisory Committee, providing updates and coordinating communication between the partners. We will also develop a Technical Advisory Team to review and support installation details and programming activities. This group may include fire department, police, public works and site stakeholders.

 

How can public art/artists help a community heal?
Participation in the arts is proven to reduce stress, improve creative thinking, enhance brain connectivity particularly with post-traumatic stress disorder, boost self-esteem and increase empathy. Recognizing this, Broward Health Coral Springs has supported our application to the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge.

This project will draw on and support Coral Springs Museum of Art’s art therapy program Healing with Art, which began as an immediate response to the shooting and will expand and continue. Healing with Art will be one key component of community engagement for the public artworks, with art therapy activities taking inspiration from each artist’s work/process and dovetailing with community-building activities, while continuing to provide much-needed intimate, restful space for individuals. The Power of Art will provide a public manifestation of the community’s healing process, represent our hopes for the future, and create additional opportunities for conversation and healing together.

We will work closely with Broward County Public Schools, local private schools, libraries, community centers, and social service providers, including the Broward County Family Success Center, which provides assistance to individuals and families in achieving economic and social stability, and Broward Health, to connect to our intended audience and make people aware of opportunities to participate in the workshops and other events.  We will also engage existing groups, such as parent’s groups, sports leagues, religious institutions, etc. inviting their members to participate in the activities.

When will the projects take place?
We feel that it is very important to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a healing community gathering centered around a temporary public art project built by the community. This will take place on or around February 14, 2019. The five installations will be initiated in an overlapping sequence from December 2018 to December 2020 to recognize that healing is a process, not an event. A second, major community gathering will also occur on or around February 14, 2020 to mark the second anniversary of the shooting.

What are the goals for this project?
Our overarching goal for this project is to work as a community to create five temporary public artworks that support the health of the community and the communal healing process. By working together on this project, we hope the multiple municipalities and communities affected by this event will forge an enhanced sense of unity, collaboration, communication and empathy both among neighbors and within bureaucratic systems.

Key Goals:

  • Result in five temporary public artworks that will serve as public manifestations of the healing process and the community’s vision for the future.
  • Forge broad-based participation in the project and reach into all sections of the community, including those whose experiences have not been acknowledged or validated by major media coverage
  • Create a wide range of opportunities for individuals to engage in creative experiences that support the healing process
  • Facilitate opportunities for social connections and conversations
  • Connect to social service providers, such as mental health counselors and other services individuals may need

We understand that the healing process will not be over, but we hope this project opens doors for the community to continue to creatively envision its future and that these projects provide the partners and participants with enhanced skills for working together and a new set of possibilities for the future.

Will Coral Springs and Parkland bring resources to the project?
The City of Coral Springs and the Coral Springs Museum of Art will dedicate staff time and resources to ensure that the project is successful.

The Coral Springs Public Art Committee has committed a cash match of $50,000 through the Public Art Fund. The fund, collected through development and redevelopment within the City, is expected to provide $25,000 each year of the grant.

Is this project about supporting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students in their pursuit of Gun Control legislation?
While our students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are working, with our support, on a national level to change the dialogue about gun control, we also have work to do at home to care for and nurture our residents. With Bloomberg Public Art Challenge grant funds we can work as a single community to rebuild hope and look to the future.