If we are celebrating 100 years as a cultural centre of the West, I think it would be very interesting to create 100 items for Calgarians and visitors alike. Each item would be part of a bigger story and each item would be unique in it's own right.
I have a couple of concepts in my mind right now that I am thinking we could mash up into one really cool concept. Do you remember the success of the Udderly Art program? http://public.fotki.com/cgyrunner/potpourri/udderly-art-cows-in/ Calgary citizens and corporations purchased a blank slate in the form of a fibreglass cow. They then partnered with a Calgary artist to create their version/vision of what that cow meant to them. The cows were then auctioned off with funds going to a charity of their choice. A perfect storm of creativity and civic engagement.
Another really cool idea that is traveling the world right now is '60 pianos'. The concept, devised by British artist Luke Jerram, has put more than 130 pianos in parks, squares and bus stations since 2008 in cities including London, Sydney and Sao Paulo and is now being installed in New York. Each of the 60 pianos to be installed throughout New York has its own attendants responsible for its care. That involves unlocking the keyboard at 9 a.m. every day and deploying a heavy tarp over the instrument if it rains. The pianos were donated for the cause and have been painted and decorated by artists. Again, another cooperative program that engages artists, corporations and citizens.
What I like about this concept is that it is essentially an interactive version of our Udderly Art program. The piano is actually a multi-dimensional blank canvas for everyone's creativity that has the potential to engage pianists, listeners and artists alike.
I would like to suggest that we find a creative execution that brings civic, corporations and citizens together to build upon these two interesting concepts. Let’s make 100 things? Not sure what they are, but they need to be relevant, timely, interactive and engaging. I would love to see them in communities around the city. I would really love to see the sum of the 100 parts make this city a better place to live and put it on the map as a Cultural Capital. I already want one, even though I don’t know what it is!!