Using Creativity to Fund Public Art

The City has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the Dancing Arches sculpture at Rodney Park. The clock is ticking and our Kickstarter project only has a few days left to raise the money. To keep the money that has been pledged, we have to meet our goal of $27,000 by the deadline of August 30, 2013.

My excitement for this project began this past January, my first week on the job as public art manager. One of my first tasks was touring all of the city parks. Renovation was complete on Brandon Park and the Revolutions sculpture was scheduled to install in February. Crystal and Rodney Parks were up next on the list of parks to be renovated. My first visit to Rodney Park confirmed that I had made the right decision taking this new job. I’ve worked in the City for 18 years but had never been to this little park tucked away in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood. There was no color in the park except for the gloomy grey of cracked asphalt – a depressing site for all the quaint little row houses that surround the park. There was no doubt that renovating the park and installing a beautiful piece of public art was a worthwhile project and I wanted to be a part of it.

We launched the Kickstarter campaign and had an initial flurry of donations. As the days ticked away, I wanted to find a fun way to draw attention to the campaign and find additional supporters.  An idea came to me to combine my love of yoga with social media. So on the morning of August 8th I challenged my Facebook friends to contribute in exchange for giving each of them a personal headstand. I literally spent half the day on my head. You can check out my upside down adventures on Ken Mueller’s Inkling Media blog post 5 tips on Using Your Head to Turn Your Marketing Upside Down. By the end of the day I felt completely connected to the community. Social media allowed me to create a fun and inspiring dialog with friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. As I walked to my car, exhausted from my inverted day, people were calling to me from across the street and telling me that they loved my headstands.

So here we are now – we have a project planning committee, community support for the project, the art and artist selected, the park renovations are complete and the site is ready and waiting.

It’s not too late to check out the Kickstarter page and consider making a donation. We have great prizes available: from your own private party at the park to a ride on the Mayor’s motorcycle.  We hope you will visit our site and consider joining our campaign.

By Tracy Beyl, Public Art Manager