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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Speaking of Home-St. Paul Seeks PR Sponsor

CONCEPT
Speaking of Home-St. Paul is a major public artwork and environmental design project for the St. Paul skyway system, the first large-scale temporary skyway public art project in the city’s history. Situated in the heart of the city, Speaking of Home will transform four St. Paul skyway bridges from utilitarian walkways to a grand-format public artwork, celebrating Twin Cities’ diversity and the importance of an affordable home for everyone. Inspired by the more than 120 languages spoken by children in the Twin Cities school system, the monumental project creates for St. Paul a sense and place of identity at the city’s nerve center. When completed, the project will form a “town square” connecting the streets surrounding the intersection of 6th and Minnesota. Speaking of Home, St. Paul is being developed in partnership with the City of St. Paul, Forecast Public Art; Family Housing Fund; CommonBond Communities, the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Advanced Study and Larsen Design. The projected exhibition schedule is April to December 2011.

Fifty-six Twin Cities’ residents will be invited to collaborate and share their family photographs from their country of origin and stories of coming to Minnesota. Fifty-six larger-than-life portrait photographs of Twin Cities’ residents—each approximately 10 by 12 feet—will be printed on sheer fabric and installed seamlessly in the window frames of four skyways. Each portrait will be accompanied by signage with the word for “home” in that person’s native language, accompanied by excerpts from interviews. The installation also features biographical and didactic panels explaining the project. It will include a website, and project brochures distributed to audiences.

GOALS
  • Creating a sense of place and identity in St. Paul
  • Stimulating cultural and economic vitality in downtown St. Paul
  • Empowering New Americans and communities of color, promoting diversity and teaching tolerance
  • Creating visibility for the Family Housing Fund and CommonBond Communities’ work while increasing public awareness how affordable housing strengthens our community.
  • Creating the first of its kind public art project – focusing on design and innovation in the public realm
  • Demonstrating new uses for the Twin Cities’ skyways and future public art programming
  • Promoting the Twin Cities’ as design forward and embracing innovation

PARTNERS/SUPPORTERS
Speaking of Home-St. Paul is based on a successful one-bridge 2008 Minneapolis pilot project which won Americans for the Arts’ 2009 Best National Public Art Project, a 2009 International Merit Award of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design and the IFAI’s International Award of Excellence for use of fabric in design. Speaking of Home, St. Paul is initiated by a public art and environmental design collaborative, Public Interest Inc. led by photographer and environmental designer and 2010 Bush Foundation Fellow Nancy Ann Coyne in cooperation with Larsen Design.

Funders/In-Kind Supporters to date include: the City of St. Paul Cultural Star Grant, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, General Mills, the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Compas, Elmer L. & Eleanor H. Andersen Family Foundation, Portland Color, Larsen Design, CityLitesUSA-Skyway Advertising, Brad Palm LLC, Archetype Signmakers, Albinson’s Reprographics, and Borman & Schulkers Law Firm. Additional funders are pending including 3M and Wells-Fargo Bank.

If you are interested in donated your public relations experience or your agency time please call or email project director, Nancy Ann Coyne to learn more about the opportunity. coyne007@umn.edu / 612-333-6654