Graffitti Park – The Proposal
What is a Graffitti Park?
It’s many things.
~ First and foremost, it’s a place for kids and young adults growing up in the inner city, any urban area really, who are artistically inclined and need a positive, safe, constructive, and supportive place to express themselves.
~ Secondly, Graffitti Park is an epicenter for the collection of what would otherwise be vandalism in it’s immediate and adjacent communities. Like a magnet, GP will attract the idle hands from the local neighborhood and give them something constructive to do. The mere existence of GP will immediately decrease the amount of Graffitti being set out in the community because it will be a place where the competitive nature of the artists can come together. This will be a centralized arena for what currently consumes entire communities, entire cities, costing the community time, money and effecting lives negatively- sometimes even costing young lives.
Artists, as they would then be legitimately regarded, wouldn’t waste their time and risk their freedom by committing a crime if they knew there was a place where they can compete openly with their rivals side by side under a spotlight of admiring fans.
The relief to the city’s budget in this way would also be an immediate benefit- needless, but uselful to say.
~ Third of the most important things, and in conjunction with the first- Graffitti Park is an art school.
Art programs across the country are being cut from the budgets in Public Schools in lieu of vital expenditures. GP is not only a fall back in respect to providing an education in the arts to many urban and inner city youth, it’s also a viable option for independent or corporate sponsorship, as well as government grants and public fund raising to that same end.
With the proper funding from the sources mentioned above and others outside of this author’s scope- Graffitti Park can operate as it’s own micro- art school with it’s own (small) teaching and administration staff offering free classes to kids and young adults, free class trips to tour the Park in it’s museum form, offering a history of Graffitti both in New York and abroad (internationally), how it relates to pop culture and modern art, graphic design and so on.
An education on community pride at an early age as well, is a vital way to prevent criminal forms of graffitti vandalism in the future.
In conjunction with the foreseeable relationship with Law Enforcement and Anti-Vandalism Organizations, public and private, Graffitti Park may also function as a safe haven for Graffiti Artists to turn themselves in, and in return GP can guarantee a sentence of Community Service to be served with the park, instead of incarceration. Thereby offering true rehabilitation, true education and enlisting another soldier into the ranks of those advocating for Graffiti as a legitimate art form, moving it further away from the vandal aspect.
It is foreseeable that Law Enforcement could share offices on site for these purposes, as well as conducting their own preventative educational endeavors.
~ Fourth, Graffiti Park is a Museum of the most modern of modern arts. This aspect of the park is two-fold because you must realize, that when you have a space exhibiting graffiti, you immediately benefit from the space also becoming a performance art space as well. What is graffiti, as it is being created, if not performance art? Graffiti is an art that can be set, and commonly is, when done openly, to music. This atmosphere is one that can easily be marketed as performance art and easily displayed as such. More on this aspect of the park below.
These are the public aspects of Graffitti Park, and these alone would make this a viable investment for the community, the government and the private investor alike.
But that’s not nearly all Graffitti Park is.
Graffitti Park has an entrepreneurial side to it as well.
*As mentioned above- Graffitti Park is a Museum, but it is not just any museum exhibiting the art of the day- It is a museum dedicated to urban and modern art- and it will be the first and only of its kind in the world!
Other museums may have the occasional performance art exhibit, usually outside their norm, causing great effort logistically but Graffitti Park will work to make the performance art aspect of the museum a monthly to bi- monthly experience.
Not only will “performance art” be offered regularly, but the kind of performance art offered will be like no other kind ever seen in any other museum in the world on such a regular basis.
The kind of performance art offered at Graffitti Park is the kind where the artist themselves is creating the art in front of the audience. This will not be a person sitting in a chair staring at people who choose to sit in front of them. This will not be a mime. This will be the artist themselves in real life, with real paint, making real time decisions, effected by their environment which may include a live DJ or band providing ambient atmosphere, and the audience as well. Most appealing of course, is that many graffiti artists are interactive and approachable with their audience. A ticket holder can almost certainly be guaranteed personal contact with the artist.
Very few venues or mediums can offer the artist in his studio, accessible to the public as he or she works, live.
The Park would be able to invite world renowned and up and coming artists to “perform their work for an exclusive paying audience or general admission museum goers, the latter being the ideal.
*Graffitti Park, as the sponsor of the event, in
conjunction with either corporate or private sponsorship would retain the partial or complete rights to exhibit the art created (of course), document it (video and print), reproduce in limited edition and sell that art with a portion of the proceeds funneled directly back to the support of the first three aspects of Graffitti Park itself.
Graffitti Park is Closed.
The above mentioned aspects of Graffitti Park can only happen, for the most part, in and around the hours of 9am to 5pm most days…
What happens after hours and on those early-in-the-week days when there are no classes or school trips and the museum is otherwise closed?
1. Graffitti Park serves as a venue for corporate meetings.
Now, do I have to sell you on this?
You’re an event manager for Nike, for Billabong, for DC (the skate apparel company) or DC Comics, or Marvel or any major record label… You can go to the Marriott and bore everyone with the mundane surroundings and processed air of a large chain hotel, or you can go to Graffitti Park and have everyone marvel at your ingenuity in having their quarterly in such an interesting and awe inspiring location!
Graffitti Park’s Center walls (see 3-d model) will not be made of concrete. They will be constructed of a lighter material and set upon a movable platform that can be turned ninety degrees and set along the edge of the skate park- creating an enclosure. Inside the enclosure you can have risers to create an angled general admission area, a flat general admission area or bleachers (the least desirable formation as it eliminates the viewing of the art on the three walls) on three sides with a stage erected on the inner end creating an exciting open air or enclosed concert and performance space. This configuration is also available for the corporate setting at an additional cost.
Graffitti Park can be nearly a 7 day a week operation generating employment opportunities, revenue streams for local municipalities, and income that both profits and funds the educational and community service aspects of the Park’s initiatives listed above.
Graffitti Park, as conceptualized will have a skate park incorporated into it’s design. This will be another aspect of safe haven for community youth. Will be opened daily, offering kids and young adults a safe place other than the streets to express themselves.
So what is it all good for?
I can hear kids telling each other not to mark up that wall or that gate because if they think they’re any good they can go to Graffitti Park and have a battle sponsored for free (battle is a graffitti term for a competition between two artists).
I can see kid’s artistic inclinations taking form, turning into productive and fulfilling lives of artists, which would have otherwise been a dream, unfulfilled, and replaced by the responsibilities that come often too soon in an urban youth’s life.
I can hear the store owner saying how a year ago he was spending so much more money on repainting the walls and gates of his business, and how he doesn’t feel the frustration to the youth in the community he felt before now that he or she doesnt have to deal with as much vandalism.
I can see those businesses turning that savings into lower costs of their products.
I can see property values rising for the same drop in vandalism, and hey, is that an artist’s community coming to life? Adding beautiful expressions to the community and further improving quality of life? Could be.
As far as the other side of the Park…
I can visualize the next (insert cool band name here) video being filmed here, and the after party as well.
I can see the presentations to so many meetings happening, and so much repeat business from those attending because they’re amazed that it’s also a school and a museum.
Far in the future… I can see Graffitti off the streets in the United States, and in the home of it’s birth, New York City. I can see it taken seriously as an art form unique to urban life. I can see so many artists getting out of the underground and getting the recognition they deserve.
And much, much more.
In the end the answer to the question is simple.
Graffitti Park is a Safe Haven for kids, an Art School, a Museum, an Artist Space, a Park and green space (to be incorporated into a version of the design), a Concert and Performance Venue and a Convention/ Meeting place.
It’s a business that utilizes it’s space to it’s utmost potential, and gives back so much more to the community it is in, than it takes away.
It might even be the best investment any one investor, or a city can make.
Graffitti Park is currently just a dream. What you’ve just read is a draft to a presentation. I am currently working on the 3-D model pictured throughout this presentation and a website dedicated to the promotion of the idea. If any of what you read here sounds good to you, pass it along if you can’t step up and join in on the dream.
Here are some links as well as the one’s along side the blog to help you help me.