What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
1. Deepen participants understanding of the immigrant experience
3. Increase empathy and acceptance
4. Strengthen youth confidence their voices can be a vehicle for social change.
The work was designed to address our current political climate where the rhetoric fractures and divides more than it unites and uplifts. Harbor Voices is a living an growing artwork designed to bring people together in a time when discrimination and hatred try to break us apart.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The goals have not changed but the notion that this project would live in one place has changed. We have grown since the launch in Gloucester. We are currently also working in Boston, Salem, and additional communities in Massachusetts Bay.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
Mayor of Gloucester (storyteller, exhibition sponsor/host); Gloucester Public Schools (storytellers, exhibtition visitors via field trips); local nonprofits such as Pathways for Children and the Open Door (storytellers and exhibition visitors); Sandy Bay Historical Society (storytellers and exhibition visitors); Rhode Island School of Design (primary funder); The Middle Street Walk (local festival that offered space and time for our first installation)
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
As a third generation Cape Ann artist, a personal strategy was arts revitalization for the area by offering an opportunity for residents to participate in social practice art. The visual arts in the area focuses heavily on plen air painting and maritime painting; this was an opportunity to create dialogue around contemporary new genre public art that emerges from within the community. Since our first exhibition, I have seen an increase in interest and debate around the importance of public art in the city and I hope the work continues to inspire an increase public art activity. Also, the work was situated in an underutilized public space and offered an opportunity to bring new meaning to a historic space that is typically used for meetings and political debate. Harbor Voices also packages oral history in a compelling format for teen visitors; the majority of our exhibition visitors were under the age of 18.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
StoryCorps, Tania Brugera's work, Suzanne Lacy's work, Rick Lowe's Project Rowe Houses, Jenny Holzer's work