In case you're not totally clear on what Labor Day is all about, Wikipedia supplies this definition: "Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September in any given year to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States."
Check out this article from Constitution Daily detailing "10 fascinating facts about the Labor Day holiday."
Its purpose is to celebrate all the hard working Americans that have collaborated since the birth of this nation 225 years ago to create the country we know today. Filled with diversity and creativity, there are thousands of different professions one can dive into.
This Labor Day, FAFC would like to highlight the Art Community in America that has helped create a nation filled with beautiful works of art. From the big cities to the little towns, artists everywhere are improving their communities by pumping inspiration and collaboration into their streets with art.
3 PROJECTS IMPROVING COMMUNITIES WITH ART
1. Philadelphia's Porch Light Project
Sanctuary © 2016 Mural Arts Philadelphia / James Burns. Photo by Steve Weinik.
What began as an idea in 2007 has now grown into a city-wide community art project. Artists are commissioned to create large works of public art that target issues like mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, trauma, immigration, war, and neighborhood safety.
This study from the Yale School of Medicine found that public art has the ability to increase social stability and trust amongst neighbors, so the public art throughout Philadelphia has had a profound effect on the community as a whole.
Read more about the Porch Light project here.
2. New York's Percent for Art Project
"Since 1982, New York City's Percent for Art law has required that one percent of the budget for eligible City-funded construction projects be spent on public artwork," says the NYC Percent for Art webpage. The project has since commissioned hundreds of pieces of artwork in a wide range of mediums throughout the state.
City agencies have the opportunity to commission or restore artwork in their communities, which has increased the community's collective identity because the artworks focus on site- and culturally-specific pieces that speak to the local community.
The Source, one of the latest commissioned pieces, has been added to a plaza in a neighborhood predominantly filled with Dominican culture. The piece is bright and fun, adding inspiration to the lives of those in the community.
3. Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District (SNAED)
Photograph from SNAED. Art by Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn.
Though located just north of a large commuting station, most commuters just pass right through this neighborhood without stopping by. The community has long been vacant of many residences, so SNAED decided to put the vacant buildings to use by implementing many different community activities into them.
From live music, to theatre, to art galleries, to live performances, and more, SNAED is on a mission to fill the neighborhood with culturally- and community-charged activities that will attract the passerby to stick around and enjoy all the neighborhood has to offer.
Check out more from SNAED.
From murals to sculptures to paintings, artists around the country are improving their own lives and the lives of their communities through art. It enlivens neighborhoods, strengthens relationships, and builds nationwide courage and strength.
This Labor Day, take time to appreciate all the hard work that Americans (past and present) have put into creating the strong, diverse, and creative workforce that we have today.