Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.

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May 14, 2009

NYSATA FUNDRED Initiative

Each year the New York State Art Teachers Association holds its annual conference in November.  An important part of our conference program includes keynote addresses by notable artists and art educators. This year we are pleased to announce that the artist Mel Chin will be one of our keynote speakers. Most recently Mr. Chin has gained national attention for his FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT.

The FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT is an innovative artwork conceptualized by Mel Chin that is made of millions of drawings. This creative collective action is intended to support OPERATION PAYDIRT, an extraordinary art/science project uniting three million children with educators, scientists, health care professionals, designers, urban planners, engineers and artists. Together they are working to make safe the lead polluted soil of New Orleans that places thousands of children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems, including violent crime.

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NYSATA has partnered with the FUNDRED PROJECT to create a state-wide initiative to bring the vision of this project to fruition. Through the simple gesture of creating FUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS, the students of New York State are going to take part in this giant performance supporting the rebuilding of New Orleans from below the ground up.  Our intent is to deliver $500,000 FUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS to Mr. Chin on November 21st.  

The FUNDRED PROJECT has received lots of coverage in the news.  When I shared the CNN story with my Principal, she immediately marched down to my room and asked how our students can participate in this project. Of course, I enthusiastically replied that we already are involved with this venture.  This project has cost me a total of $20 and over 540 elementary aged students have been able to participate.  If you are looking for an awesome and easy-to-implement project, I would encourage every Art teacher to have your students experience the FUNDRED PROJECT.  Do it quickly, the “FUNDREDS” will be picked up in the Fall of 2009!

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