Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Help Needed for Nationwide Environmental Project

The Maine Arts Commission is seeking students statewide to assist with a nationwide public art project that aims to mitigate toxic soil contamination in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Fundred Dollar Bill Project is raising nationwide awareness of the environmental threat of lead-poisoning by collecting the funds necessary for a model remediation effort in New Orleans. Students and community members across the country are currently creating Fundred Dollar Bills -- original, hand-drawn interpretations of $100 bills. K-12 teachers throughout the U.S. are working with Fundred as a focus in lesson plans on topics as varied as “the history of money, “the biology of dirt” and is being used as an important community service and service learning opportunity. Completed Fundred artworks in Maine will be sent to the Maine Arts Commission for collection. The project will collect at least 3 million Fundreds nationally, or the equivalent of $300 million, the estimated cost of making the soil in New Orleans lead-safe.

On May 5, an armored truck, retrofitted to run on waste vegetable oil, will arrive at Maine’s Statehouse to pick up over 7,000 bills created by Maine students. This will form part of an epic 17,000-mile cross-country trip that ends in the summer when the Fundred Bills are delivered to Washington D.C. In Washington a request will be made of Congress for an even exchange of the value of the art currency for actual funds and services to support the implementation of Operation Paydirt, a citywide landscape recovery program for New Orleans.

The Maine Arts Commission has Fundred templates available for those wishing to be a part of this historic event. School teachers, community members and individuals can acquire templates by contacting Lindsay Rowe at the Maine Arts Commission 207/287-6720 or Completed Fundred Bills will need to be returned to the Maine Arts Commission by April 30, 2010.

On Saturday March 27, from noon to 1:00pm and from 1:30 to 2pm Lindsay Rowe will l be at the Children's Museum of Maine in Portland running a table with funders and art supplies so children who may not be participating in their school already can make funders.

Here's a brief news report about the Fundred project.

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