Participants in our UNITY Project, this past weekend, at the Port Hope Arts Festival were intrigued, surprised, delighted, and moved by the experience--one person said, "When I walked into the space, I started to cry. It felt like a spiritual space, connected to so many things."
With over 100 people telling their personal story through yarn webs, the art installation was a great success on many fronts. Green Wood organized this event as our gift to Port Hope, believing that it would present a striking visual image of the kind of community we are seeking to build in Port Hope, connecting relationships across imaginary barriers that seem to separate us.
UNITY is the brainchild of Nancy Belmont who created the first project on June 2, 2016 in Alexandria, Virginia, encouraging other communities, like Port Hope, to repeat the model. It's a participatory, community art project in the form of a circular arrangement of 32 poles in a 40-foot field. Each pole is labeled with an identifier--for example, “I’m a parent,” “I speak English as a Second Language,” “I identify as LGBTQ.” With yarn, participants tie onto each pole with which they identify. A canopy of interconnectedness forms as more people participate.
Here is a link an Upworthy video about the original UNITY Project
The UNITY project celebrates diversity and the uniqueness of each individual while raising awareness of how labels impact our perception of, and interactions with, the world.
By all accounts, the Port Hope UNITY Project was a success on a number of fronts. Big thanks to Nancy Belmont of #welivebig for the idea, and to Northumberland United Way for their support for this kind of project.