Posted on October 26, 2021
Mount Clemens’ Shadyside Park was full of creativity and activity this summer. Advancing Macomb hosted a series of community art sessions in the park to get the community’s creativity engaged while community partners upped the activity. Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant program, the art sessions helped bring arts and crafts into the hands of citizens of Mount Clemens to come together, create, and talk about ways to enhance their community through art.
In a city that is not able to offer much in the way of enrichment activities due to budget constraints, these sessions offered a welcome gathering opportunity. Additionally, by the sessions being held at Shadyside Park, we were able to activate the park in a different way. Instead of just a recreation focus, the art sessions brought people together in the outdoors to explore their creativity.
Each art session featured local artists who brought samples of their work and talked with participants about their process and skills. The artists were all excited to participate not only to share their skills, but also to interact with the attendees around something near to their hearts. The artists eagerly got involved with the planning of projects for their session. The attendees had a chance to paint, draw, construct, arrange, and imagine through the different projects and to put their own spin on their work.
Community Art Sessions:
An additional component of this project was to bring attention and excitement to the upcoming play fountain to be constructed in the park through community fundraising done by Advancing Macomb and our partners. During the sessions we talked to participants about the play fountain and asked them for their input on possible design themes for the mural that will accompany the fountain.
The final art session was incorporated into the county wide “Meet Me on the Trail Day” celebration of the trail system. This session was more than art. The day started off in the rain with a community-focused groundbreaking for the upcoming play fountain with one of the sponsors, First State Bank. As the day cleared, our art session was joined by our affiliated program, SportPort, who started a kickball league in the park this summer, as well as additional activities provided by the Anton Art Center, Boys and Girls Club, and First State Bank. The combination of events activated this underutilized public space in a way that we hope becomes a regular occurrence.
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