Thursday, April 24, 2008

Collective Imprints Unveiling

Co-President Bonnie MacAllister is one of the muralists to participate in this community collaborative project at the University of Pennsylvania. Please join us for the opening as Bonnie will speak and represent the WCA-Philadelphia Chapter. Members Monica and Maria Pace also participated.

May 1--Collective Imprints
The Rotunda will unveil the Collective Imprints art installation, a collectively-produced work of visual art that celebrates the life and history of The Rotunda, local history and folklore, and visions for future neighborhoods and communities.

This piece will remain on permanent display at The Rotunda (in a most interesting place), reminding audiences and performers that The Rotunda is a vital connector that inspires genuine dialogue and social change.

Collective Imprints, the first project of its kind in Philadelphia, is unique in that it employed dialogue, movement, music-making, and holistic collaboration from all participants. Everyone was welcome to brainstorm, move, make music, draw, paint, and collaborate on designs. Never before has such a long term multi-faceted and inclusive project been open to the general public in this city. We believe that future projects will be born of this, fostering long lasting connections between disparate communities.

lease join us on May 1, from 6pm until 9pm at The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

The unveiling will kickoff with music, light refreshments, a photo slide show, and a short presentation by some of the Collective Imprints participants, followed by an open jam session (bring your own percussion instrument).

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend as we celebrate this historic project.

More about Collective Imprints

[For the project syllabus, articles, anecdotes, and photos, visit the project's blog:]

Collective Imprints was conceived last year by, among others, local community artist, muralist, and activist Michael B. Schwartz, and launched its first collaborative session on November 6, 2007. The work did not stop until the paint was dry last week.

The project started off with eye-opening and inclusive conversations about notions of belonging, place, community, activism, The Rotunda's mission, the arts, power of the people, and more. We also brought movement into the work as we explored new ways of brainstorming, using exercises shared by West Philadelphia multi-faceted artist Jodi Netzer. In addition, Bill Feiger, of Stares to Nowhere and other local acts, shared his musical instruments from around the world as we used sound and music to evoke even more ideas.

Shortly thereafter, we began to draw and paint images based on ideas spawned during conversations and movement exploration. Nearly 150 people participated, seeking to strengthen connections within the greater Rotunda community while building a sense of ownership and interconnectivity to the surrounding area.

Participants ranged from 5 year old school children to college students, teachers, doctors, professors, truck drivers, homemakers, and much more. On Martin Luther King, jr. Day alone, nearly 80 people spent their Day of Service working on Collective Imprints!

Support for this project was provided in part by The Puffin Foundation Ltd. and the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program.
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