Merritt awarded grant for public health/street art project in Maine
Fellow Karen Merritt was just awarded a Rebel Blend Fund Grant for a public health/street art project for Portland, ME for next year.
This project represents an intersection of art, community and public health messaging and is intended to use street art as a tool for engagement. Specifically, this project will use large temporary paste-up installations of graphics and/or photographic portraits (250+ images per installation) of community to put faces to statistics regarding public health issues. The use of street art in this project is intended to allow people to engage with a paste-up installation in a way that integrates the content – both the images and the message – with the ‘everyday’. The paste-ups will be installed for periods of 1 – 2 months – a duration that will allow consideration of content without pressure to react, interact or immediately respond to the public health messaging. The goal of these installations is engagement, but on each individual viewer’s own terms and only to the extent that that engagement feels safe. Our hope with this project is that if we see ourselves collectively in the statistics of issues impacting Mainers, we can reduce the stigma that surrounds asking for help, particularly on issues such as mental health and substance use that can be sources of private struggle.