The Urban Pond Procession is coming off yet another successful year raising awareness about Mashapaug Pond, its history and environmental challenges, throughout Providence and beyond. We are looking forward to 2012-13 as a year when we work more closely with the neighborhood and businesses around Mashapaug Pond—and with you! We are excited to invite you to submit a project proposal to further involve the Mashapaug community in the history and health of the pond.
Through an EPA grant secured by the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, UPP will offer a series of 10 workshops each at Alvarez High School and Reservoir Avenue Elementary to address storm water runoff and water flow in and out of homes and local businesses. These workshops will take place after school and/or during in-school classtime in collaboration with the schools’ art and/or science teachers. The new principal at Alvarez, Jesse Rivers, has already met with the principal at Reservoir Elementary, Socorro Gomez-Potter, to brainstorm how the two schools might collaborate. Socorro and I have also identified key ways that UPP can become part of the Reservoir Elementary school community throughout the coming year.
We would like to apply for additional grants to continue offering programs at Sophia Academy, one of our key academic partners since 2008. We may also apply for additional grants to fund supplemental programming at Alvarez and/or Reservoir Elementary.
Below are some ideas for UPP projects that have been generated to continue to raise awareness around Mashapaug Pond and storm water runoff, as well as the history of the area. I invite you to develop and submit an arts-based proposal to address one (or more) of the following ideas. UPP’s archive of educational and historical materials related to Mashapaug’s history is available upon request.
1) Timeline mural at Alvarez – Alvarez Art teacher Sarah Capelli wants a mural artist to work with her students to paint a timeline of Gorham’s history and legacy on a wall at Alvarez.
2) Create a 3-D model of the Mashapaug Pond Watershed – The model must be made to last and waterproof so students can spray water and see the movement of water down streets, the industrial park and roofs, straight into Mashapaug Pond. Inflow and outflow should be indicated, as should specific identifiers in the area.
3) Neighborhood retrofit models – We would like students to build 3-D models to help them understand how Reservoir Elementary, students’ own homes and the grounds in the neighborhood can be retrofitted to use water in a more efficient/environmentally-friendly manner. These models should include multiple houses, the street and the un-built natural landscape, including rain barrels, rain gardens, etc. Ideally the whole model would be built as pieces of a puzzle, so each individual piece could be worn as a hat in the 2013 Procession. Students can put the puzzle together at the end of the Procession and explain their process and final product to UPP 2013 participants.
4) Pedestal for the Gorham weathervane – The copper weathervane that once stood atop the Gorham Silver Manufacturing Co. Casino currently sits in an empty office in the City of Providence Department of Planning + Development. Many of us would like to see that weathervane permanently housed at Alvarez. We are looking for an artist from the Steel Yard who can work closely with a group of students at Alvarez to learn about the history of Gorham and its place in Providence and Decorative Arts history, and design and fabricate a pedestal for the weathervane. Gorham research materials and photos of the weathervane (about 6′ high) are available upon request.
5) Reservoir Elementary playground redesign – There is a 20′ by 35′ rectangle of sandy dirt in the playground at Reservoir Elementary. Socorro has agreed to let UPP work with parents and students to determine what to do with this patch of land to support healthy water drainage and a play space for students. UPP is looking for an artist who can work with parents and students to design and choose materials for this space. Construction over the summer (2013) can be part of the proposal. Experience with landscape architecture and/or rain gardens is expected.
6) Floating Sculpture for Mashapaug Pond – The Steel Yard worked with Sophia Academy 8th grade students last year to create a floating sculpture for Mashapaug Pond, informing visitors about Gorham’s ill effects on the environment and the hope for a brighter future if we clean it up. We would like to create a new sculpture this year. The sculpture should have some connection to the historical or environmental context of Mashapaug Pond. There are research materials available through UPP to any artist wishing to look at them. (Note: The floating platform for the sculpture has already been created. It supports the current sculpture and was designed to be detachable, allowing for interchangeable sculptures.)
7) Traveling Exhibit development – Last year, UPP outfitted the EJ League bus as a traveling exhibit. It houses maps, videos, photos, research papers and quotes from interviews about Reservoir Triangle and Gorham. We would like to translate this exhibit into Spanish. We would also like to make it more kid-friendly. For example, one could work with neighborhood youth to interview businesses around the pond or make videos about how they think and feel about the pond today. Other ideas for ways to engage kids are welcome.
8) Storm water project of your invention – Ideally, this project would be geared toward high school students at Alvarez.
9) Video explaining UPP – We have video footage from processions and some workshops from the past 3 years. It has all been initially edited by a RISD graduate but needs final editing. We are looking to create a 3 minute video for our website.
Please express interest by September 1, 2012. Proposals are due October 1, 2012. Please include a project description, timeline and sketches, as well as ideas for partnerships (if applicable), your resume, an example of a related project you have successfully completed and three references.
If you have any questions, please contact Holly at (401) 862-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit proposals to:
35 S Atlantic Ave, Warwick, RI 02888