Chalk Drawing for Civic Pride in West Haven
What kid doesn't want to break a world record?
I want the children of West Haven, Connecticut – a Long Island Sound community located 5-10 minutes from downtown New Haven - to feel a new sense of civic pride and to truly stand out in a positive way, not only in the region but in the world.
While Business Week Magazine has touted the city as a family-friendly place, its social and cultural assets have yet to be widely recognized by the public at-large.
The World's Largest Street Drawing is a breakable record: one city block in Houston, TX, was covered with chalk in 2012 (12,500 sq ft). I will donate time to organizing local artists and coordinating with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Board of Education and the local Arts Council to make West Haven's boardwalk and its neighborhood schools rallying points for a city-wide weekend of chalk creation, resulting in a walkable network of connected, temporary drawings that will attempt to break existing records to become the largest in the world. The art created by West Haven's citizens united in this activity will be highly visible; we will invite local news channels to document it via aerial photography.
Going for this record together as a community will be a powerful bonding experience for West Haven's families, laying groundwork for an upswell of grassroots support for other creative, cooperative projects for many years to come. I see it also translating into a greater appropriate concern for aesthetics, as individuals experience with their own hands how they can transform the look and feel of their place and make it more attractive and vibrant. This project is "creative placemaking" at its most democratic and inclusive. It will have visible, city-wide impact - bringing cheer and pride to West Haven's 65,000 citizens and beyond.
Funded by Connecticut (December 2012)