Wanna be part of a sweet conceptual art project?
Today at the University of Arkansas, conceptual artist Mel Chin has set up shop in the Fine Arts Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at the University collecting “Fundred Dollar Bills,” or community-designed $100 dollar bills to support environmentally friend rebuilding of New Orleans.
According to the website for the project, New Orleans is one of the most lead-contaminated cities in the U.S. The Fundred Dollar Bill Project is intended to send a message to the US Government about the the lead-contaminated soil in U.S. cities that puts thousands of children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
An armored truck will be parked between the Fulbright Peace Fountain and sculpture behind Old Main today to pick up the $100 bills that people create at The Fine Arts Center Gallery today. Also, the gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today the for anyone who wants to come in and design a $100 bill.
Inside the gallery will be information about the project as well as a safe in the middle of the gallery floor with thousands of fundred drawings collected from local schools and community members across the state of Arkansas. The university will be one of four schools participating in Arkansas.
At 3:30 p.m., a small group of musicians from the music department will play New Orleans style music. Art professor Angela La Porte will give an introduction about the project and offer some background. Dean William Schwab of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences will speak, followed by artist Mel Chin.
Students will then begin taking the fundreds out of the safe in the gallery to be loaded onto a stretcher, accompanied by a chant composed by Ethel Simpson and chanted by members of the St. Joseph’s Gregorian Schola. Once the money is loaded, a procession of students and community members present will be led by student musicians from the gallery to Old Main, where the Fundred Drawings will be loaded into the armored truck. There will be a small reception afterwards in front of the Fine Arts Gallery with more jazz music.
The drawings will be presented to the U.S. Congress with a request for an even exchange of the creative capital–your Fundreds–for real funding to make safe lead-polluted soils in New Orleans. Once we create a lead-safe New Orleans, this innovative environmental model will be available to other lead-polluted cites.
More information on the Fundred Dollar Bill project is available at Fundred.org.