Art advocates champions from Bend recently launched a grass roots campaign to increase awareness, promote dialogue instill a sense of pride in the public art that adorns the city. The campaign, Be Part of Art, is designed to foster a spirit of shared ownership of Bend’s extraordinary public art collection, which is valued at more than $1,550,000, curated by Art in Public Places, funded by the Bend Foundation private donations.
The goal of the campaign is to engage participation from community members at all levels, ranging from facilitating dialogue about public art to soliciting financial contributions in approachable $25 increments. All contributions – including donations in larger amounts — will be matched by the Bend Foundation, a private non-profit organization established by Brooks-Scanlon, Inc., Brooks Resources Corporation, their shareholders. The foundation has pledged up to $500,000 in matching funds if the community can rally to raise another $500,000 by the end of 2012.
“The city of Bend is home to a world-class art collection with more than 43 pieces of public art created by esteemed artists from throughout the Northwest,” said Sue Hollern, board member who represents Art in Public Places. “The truth is, the people of this community already own the public art, but most don’t know or think about that. They drive or walk by it every day. We want them to feel a strong sense of pride ownership we think Be Part of Art can make that happen,” she added.
In order to make art ownership accessible affordable to all, anyone can donate $25 to Be Part of Art. Those who wish to pledge additional amounts on behalf of others in the community are also invited to do so. All participants will receive a button or window cling to recognize their participation interactive community events will be taking place to honor existing participants encourage new ones.
“We want this campaign to be inclusive, truly celebrating promoting dialogue about public art,” said Cassondra Schindler with tbd, the agency that is leading the outreach campaign. “We are excited to see the community becoming increasingly involved in the social media discussion as well as shaping the future of our public art collection,” she added.
Be Part of Art is inspired by efforts in other cities to create ownership opportunities for various local attractions causes. One shining example is the fan-owned Green Bay Packers, a non-profit operation with more than 112,000 owners. Another community campaign was launched around saving the Mt. Ashl ski resort which operates today as the result of a community fundraising campaign.
Be Part of Art has already raised a significant amount of money in private donations.
“We only need $200,000 more to reach our goal,” said Hollern. “We have a remarkable opportunity to engage more people as we grow our public art collection with an additional $1 million. We believe that the people of this community will step up make that happen.”