Bridging cultural divides and enlivening neighborhoods are two of the key goals for the Blueprint for Collection Action as well as outcomes of the Arts Ripple Effect. A couple of weeks ago, we got to see these benefits played out firsthand, through a strategic project, The NKY Picnic Table Project, that was initiated by the Catalytic Development Fund and funded through ArtsWave.
The Catalytic Fund is a nonprofit organization that works to accelerate the renaissance happening in northern Kentucky. Realizing the arts are critical to furthering that economic impact, the Catalytic Fund applied and received project funding from ArtsWave through our winter round of Catalyzing Impact grants.You might need to add more paragraphs
The NKY Picnic Table Project brought together over 70 nonprofit and community partners through a creative challenge: to design picnic tables that communicated and reinforced what their organizations do for the community. And, the project brought both sides of the river together literally, via a tremendous community picnic lunch that was held on the Purple People bridge to celebrate the good work being done throughout our community. The lunch was attended by 300 people, representing those nonprofits – an array of cities, schools, clubs, businesses, churches and important causes. Feedback was outstanding, with participants using words such as "positive,” “creative” and “joyful" to describe the gathering.
Now these tables are being dispersed throughout Northern Kentucky to become functional, yet lasting public art landmarks.
This project seems timely relative to recent events in the news. It’s a reminder that our unique contributions can be opportunities to rally together. Our uniqueness is what makes us stronger and ultimately better. It’s what enlivens our neighborhoods and brings vibrancy to our region. It begins with something as simple as sitting down together to share a meal and using the arts as a language to connect us.
Photos provided by the Catalytic Fund.