Fifteen hours, two awesome collaborators, three bus stop seating prototypes, and eleven teens who now really want to design-build more things that improve their city.
In late October, we decamped from Philadelphia for a week in Flint, MI to work with Job Corps and the Flint Public Art Project to do one of our Tiny WPA workshops. In just fifteen short hours, we worked with Rejean Houle’s amazing carpentry students at Job Corps to design and build three prototypes for seating that grows off the simple ‘infrastructure’ provided by bus stop sign posts. The team installed one of the prototypes and in the next month, the other two will be painted (by Job Corps’ painting workshop) and installed at the bus stops of community organizations in Flint. AND THEN three students from the team-Da’Shay, Antonio, and Heather-presented their work and hopes for how they would like to contribute to making their city better at a city-wide symposium hosted by the Flint Public Art Project.
Although this is only the beginning of our relationship with Job Corps and the Flint Public Art Project, this quick Tiny WPA project was notable for both how much we were able to do in such a short period of time and how much impact (on the students and the general sense of possibility) was derived in such a short period of time–this is a course record for us. We are floored by the reflections and sentiments share by Da’Shay, Antonio, Heather, and the rest of their classmates. Fifteen hours, a few power tools, and some public space, ladies and gentlemen. Fifteen hours.
Indeed, this is most certainly a testament to the value and importance of having fantastic community partners. Incredible thanks to Job Corps (Verona Terry and Rejean Houle), the Flint Public Art Project, ArtPlace for funding the workshop, and especially the teens for unhesitatingly jumping in, and completely inspiring us.
We can’t wait to come back.
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