9.30.2007

                   
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Hope Flowers In New York: Garden In Transit




Garden in Transit may be the most ambitious community collaboration and public art project in New York City history.



As part of this groundbreaking motivational art, education, and creative therapy project, thousands of kids in schools, hospitals, and community institutions are painting vibrant flowers -- symbolizing joy, life, beauty, and inspiration -- on adhesive weatherproof panels that will be applied to the hoods, trunks and/or roofs of thousands of New York City taxis. Beginning in September 2007 and until year's end, New York City will be visually transformed, as the ubiquitous yellow icon becomes a mobile artistic canvas or -- "Garden in Transit."



Quick Facts:
23,000+ people have participated in Garden in Transit.

90% of participants are from NYC public schools, hospitals and youth programs.

200+ NYC area schools and hospitals are involved.

Youth in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Georgia, and Ohio have also participated.

750,000 square feet of floral panels have been painted for the taxis, including 80,000 flowers

Using our 1" brushes as a base, the GIT participants have painted the equivalent of a 1" straight line from NYC to Vail, Colorado, a distance of more than 1,700 miles .

Hundreds of schools, hospitals and after-school programs throughout the City and beyond are participating in Garden in Transit. And thousands of adults are volunteering to lend a hand for what Mayor Bloomberg describes as a "mammoth, once-in-a-lifetime effort." When complete, the project will be a tangible lesson in the power of teamwork and collaboration.



Through their participation in Garden in Transit, thousands of kids of all ages participate in educational sessions in which they learn about, discuss, and express themselves about important current affairs, community issues, individual and social responsibilities, goals and achievements, and -- the power of teamwork.

In school sessions, participating kids integrate their writing, oral and visual presentation skills to express themselves about those individual and societal issues most important to them. As a group, the students evaluate the importance of 14 contemporary issues inclusive of: the environment, education, senior care, national security, ethnic relations, healthcare, women's equality, medical research, foreign aid, poverty, and animal rights. The students then design small-scale taxis representing those issues they would choose to be a vehicle for. The larger art collaboration -- painting the taxi panels -- is a group effort intended, in part, to demonstrate what people cooperating together are able to accomplish.



For children in hospitals, the project serves as creative therapy. Children of all ages and medical and physical conditions, have the opportunity to participate with family members, visitors, medical staffs, and hospital and project volunteers. Specialized Portraits of Hope brushes and painting methods have been incorporated including telescope paint brushes for children and adults with IVs or in wheelchairs, shoe brushes for children with injured upper limbs or who cannot manipulate a brush in their hands, and flavored mouth brushes for those who paint with their mouths. Bedside visits are made to make sure that any child who wishes to participate is able to do so.



Ed Massey and Bernie Massey founded Portraits of Hope in 1995, continuing their utilization of art and poignant visual imagery for large-scale projects of social consequence. The idea for Garden in Transit goes back to 2000 when Ed and Bernie began the drive to make Garden in Transit a reality.

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