Project Launch: 9-1-17
In 1901, the city of Buffalo, New York hosted the Pan American Exposition. Visitors were dazzled by the displays of electric light and Buffalo received the nickname, “City of Lights.” Today, Buffalo’s streets are lit up by a different kind of light—a new generation of young people. They are diverse, with multicultural roots, the products of Buffalo’s rich immigrant heritage. To showcase that history, this project will create a portable art piece in partnership with the LIT program, a youth leadership and life skill development program from Western New York United. The art piece will display the phrase “The Future is Bright” in English, Spanish, Karen, Arabic, Nepali, Burmese, Somali, Bengali, Swahili, and French, the top ten languages spoken in Buffalo.
Project Update: 12-8-17
A press conference was recently held for an upcoming event which the LIT group will be participating in, First Night Buffalo. At the press conference, ten LIT students were invited to display their 18 x 24 canvases, each with the phrase "The future is bright" in different languages, and share why their future is bright.
In addition to the canvases, in order to include all 180 LIT students, each student was given a 4 x 4 tile to decorate with "My future is bright" in their native language as part of one of their training sessions.
Soon they will meet with an art director for the project, a Buffalo Native, who currently serves as a photography instructor at Buffalo’s CEPA gallery.
Final Report: 5-25-18
190 students created tiles and canvases that reflected ten of the most commonly spoken languages in Buffalo, NY. Participants wrote “My Future is Bright” on their tiles and subsequently discussed why they believed this to be true about their futures. In addition to this dialogue, community members were given the opportunity to write and draw on the wall in an effort to wield the diversity of the community for the First Night Buffalo celebration. This project allowed the students and over 2,000 community members to engage with and learn from one another in a way that, if continued, could ensure a favorable future for Buffalo.