SPEC Kit 312: Public Engagement · 51
2007 ecoarts Pledge Fence Project. As a result of participating in programming and promotion for ecoarts, a non-
profit, community-wide, three-week long series of events, I was inspired to initiate a community-building activity
that would make it easy and fun to take a first step in support of the environment that would also be witnessed by
others and visibly part of a groundswell. The growth of participation in the project was intended to demonstrate the
growth of our community’s dedication to climate action and the power of many commitments to support our one
The University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries, CU Community Relations, ecoarts, and the City of Boulder Office
of Environmental Affairs partnered to develop a community art installation on the chain link fence in Central Park
between the band shell and the creek, with permission from the city. Kay Miller’s UCB Topics in Visualization class
dubbed themselves the Visualantes and arranged on the fence branches, provided by Facilities Management.
Community members were invited to cut a piece of fabric into the shape of a leaf, embellish it in some way to
represent a pledge to make life greener, and tie it onto a branch on the fence. Community Relations provided a
mini-grant of $300, which was used to print Get ON the Fence flyers, pay for the delivery of branches, and purchase
supplies, including fabric, fabric glue, scissors, ties, and permanent markers. Volunteers from CU, ecoarts, and the
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art came together to create some 200 fabric pledge forms and disseminate
them at ecoarts events. The City of Boulder Office of Environmental Affairs (OEA) launched its climate action plan
in Central Park on September 8, 2007. climatesmart is a blueprint for reducing the community’s greenhouse gas
emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocol target and developing a sustainable energy future. Boulder Mayor Mark
Ruzzin and his family created and attached the first leaf pledges as part of that event. Flyers about both Climate
Smart and fence pledge opportunities were printed by the OEA. Ready-made leaf-shaped pieces of fabric with
ties were available at all ecoarts events, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art included leaf-making
instructions and supplies at their Saturday morning Art Stop workshops for youth and parents. A leaf-making display
and supplies was also featured at the 29th Street Mall Day of Science and the Department of Art and Art History
Toast celebration. 285 leaf pledges were removed from the fence and glued onto four over-sized, leaf-shaped forms
for future display by the Visualantes. They were featured in a library exhibit for Earth Day April 2008.
Ecoarts, for the second year, offered a diverse array of exhibits, performances, talks, tours, feasts, fairs, films offered
by more than 28 major science, environmental, arts, indigenous, and other organizations in Boulder, Denver, Ft.
Collins, and Lyons from September 14–October 6, 2007. UCB event-sponsoring groups met and communicated on
campus collaborations and promotions, coordinated by the Libraries and Community Relations including the Arts
and Culture Round Table, Artist Series, ATLAS, CIRES, Energy and Environment Security Initiative, Environmental
Center, Fiske Planetarium, Libraries, Museum of Natural History, and Visiting Artists series. This year, the center
piece of ecoarts was Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, an exhibit including works of 51 artists from across
the country and abroad, curated by visual arts curator, historian, and commentator Lucy R. Lippard. The show, co-
presented by bmoca and ecoarts, included works exhibited at the UCB Norlin Library, bmoca, NCAR, the Boulder
Public Library lawn and along Boulder Creek, UCB ATLAS building lobby, and 29th Street Mall. These activities
were considered a success because of our prominent role in a huge community-wide event. We strengthened or
developed new relationships with community art and science institutions. I believe that the Libraries was seen
by many in a new light as a contributor to the larger community. Press coverage was exceedingly disappointing,
Respondent 4
Ancient Customs, Ancient Stories Exhibit one month in duration partnership with Art Dept and Textile Society of
America 3 librarians involved 25 community participants 1500+ visiting public positive media coverage received.
Faculty lecture series two years in duration and continuing partnership with Vice Chancellor for Research and
Graduate Education, Office of Research Relations 2 librarians and 1 support staff involved ~20 community
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