Public Art builds community – Art can be used in health promotion and education reaching broad segments of the population because of its visibility and size. It also becomes a venue for ritual, celebration, gathering in times of need or concern, educational programming and community health activities. Public art is a shared experience. It has the capacity to teach, change attitudes, and inspire communities to come together.
The sculpture will be a site for adult education courses addressing education, history, art, risk and preventive factors for mental health, decision-making/problem-solving, and the utilization of community resources. As well, it may serve a site for installation and training for first responders, health care professionals and town officials. Needham’s Interfaith Clergy Association and other town groups have envisioned the sculpture as a site for learning, gathering, reflection, ritual and celebration.
Curriculum will connect the sculpture themes and experience to literature, history, art, psychology, health and wellness encouraging working relationships between departments and education for students that offer continuous threads of learning across subjects. High School students may also serve as guides and activity leaders for their younger counterparts. .
Members of the NHS and Needham communities will visit and be in relationship with this sculpture, through gatherings, training, classes offered and meetings held at its site, and all of those moments of passing by and through. Sculpture visits will create an interfacing of NHS students with others in Needham – including students from other schools (elementary, middle, private school, colleges) and community members of varying ages, professions, and backgrounds. Some of this interfacing will be planned (in curriculum, through business, faith-based, care provider, town government programming, and events and rituals) and other will be spontaneous.