Due to COVID-19, the original "Who are the People in your Neighborhood" project was put on hold. By the time we knew enough about the pandemic, and the future of this project could be considered, the timeline was already behind the original goals. And, like many of you, this pandemic has permeated all that I am doing. With these two major aspects; "Who are the People in your Neighborhood" will continue, and will look different. Please read the letter below for full details. Thanks for being a great neighbor!
I hope this finds you well, safe, and healthy. Truly. This has been a wild time since mid-March. While it seems like two years ago, we are really entering the third month of living in this pandemic. All of us have had to re-arrange, pivot, shift, upend and re-design so many aspects of our lives. For me, it was figuring out how to shift my work remotely, making sure myself and loved ones were healthy and could be fed safely, and that housing was secure. I also needed to know that my surrounding community was able to meet its basic needs. While not perfect, I am proud of us. I am proud of our ability to come together, to strive, to innovate, to speak up for quiet voices, and really prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable. I will forever be grateful to be here in this moment in history. I literally count my blessings daily.
Once the constant uncertainty and shifting had calmed a bit, I was able to attend to other areas of my life that needed to be reviewed. As some of you know, I began a community-based mural project earlier this year and was in the process of taking the input from the community and turning it into images for the murals. When COVID came, and I was able to review the project, the timing didn’t seem as relevant as it did earlier this year. What did seem relevant, however, was to make a piece of art — a piece of public art — for the community, about our collective experiences.
I am asking you to share your experiences in the first two months of COVID. I am asking you to share what you are comfortable with, using imagery, single words, or brief descriptions. For example, one image we have all gotten used to are face masks. What does a face mask mean to you? What is an image or experience from your household? How have you and/or your family been coping? What are you enjoying? What has been the most difficult? What are you grateful for? What are you hopeful for in the future? What else has been on your mind?
I want to hear from as many people as possible. Because of the current situation, I am not doing in person outreach. If you work with folks who don’t have access to a computer, or have specific experiences that should be included (for example; houseless folks) please include your experiences working in those areas and/or the voices of those you work with.
My hope is the mural will provide a space to witness lives and experiences like and unlike our own.
A place where we can find connection during a time where that is uncomfortably difficult. A place that we can
revel in the joys and tears of what we have all experienced in the last couple of months.
I will be collecting input through June 20th, and using your ideas and words to make an
image that will be painted on a wall in the Old North End.
Please submit your ideas here.
And email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Stay safe neighbors,