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Community Collaboration Examples
“A community is only as rich and strong as the collective visions and dreams of its members.”
Founded with the help of grants from The Athens County Board of Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities and The Ohio Arts Council, Passion Works was built on collaborating with the community. Since its founding, Passion Works has hosted more than 2,000 volunteers, 1,500 visitors and more than 20 visiting artists. Here are a few ways that Passion Works has teamed up with the community...
A Story of FlyingIn one of its first major exhibitions, Passion Works artists teamed up with the community to create “A Story of Flying.” Nearly 500 people contributed to the exhibition, which broke museum attendance records.
The Passion FlowerThe Passion Flower is perhaps the most obvious symbol of the relationship between Passion Works and the community. The painted metal sculptures known as “Passion Flowers” start out as aluminum printing plates from the local daily newspaper. The recycled aluminum is painted by the Passion Works artists and cut and assembled by community members. To show support for the studio and its role in the community, Athens Mayor Ric Abel proclaimed the Passion Flower to be the official flower of Athens, Ohio. (Link to the life of a Passion Flower)
GovernmentFirst Lady of Ohio, Mrs. Hope Taft, first saw Passion Flowers at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, Ohio. Director, Betty Talbot, shared the history of the Passion Flower and the First Lady wanted to learn more. Mrs. Taft scheduled a visit to Passion Works Studio where she met the studio artists and sat for a portrait painted by Harry Grimm. Mrs. Taft then invited the studio to do an installation of Passion Flowers in her garden at the Governor's Residence. The First Lady threw a Garden Party for Passion Work Artists, Ohio Arts Council staff and others who had supported the work of the studio.
Community MembersEach week the studio opens up and welcomes citizens to participate in the studio's activities. Local high school students visit the studio and help create art
Hocking College Poetry WorkshopPassion Works Studio artists and Hocking College students have been writing poetry together since 2000. These insightfully witty poems were shared with Athens musicians who transformed them into song. A twelve-song CD was released in 2005.
BusinessesPassion Works art decorates many local restaurants and window displays. One restaurant owner jumped at the chance to have the exhibition “A Story of Flying” adorn his eatery. Local business owners have offered to sell Passion Works products to show support.
Local schoolsPassion Works original coloring books have been given away to school age children. The Studio created large metal flower props for the state production of The Wizard of Oz by elementary school children.
Ohio UniversityEach year, the Passion Works artists and community members come together to build floats for Ohio University's Homecoming Parade. Currently, the studio is seeking ways to have art students from the University complete internships in the studio. The studio has also donated art to Ohio University's scholarship art auction fund raiser. I Wish I Could But I Live Too Far Away, Passion Works' first video collaboration with visiting artist Ed Radtke was screened at the Ohio University Art Gallery and at the Athens International Film Festival.
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