Instead of Benjamin Franklin, draw your own face, your pet dog, your favorite superhero, the meanest monster you can imagine. Make up a new country, pick your own colors–design your own $100 bill.
That’s a quick introduction to the Fundred Dollar Bill Project, a national art project involving several million student drawings to support the rebuilding of New Orleans.
The Nasher Museum of Art and Golden Belt are inviting local schoolchildren and members of the community to take part. People can make Fundreds on May 15 and June 19 at Golden Belt, on May 17 at the Nasher Museum’s free Family Day event from 12-4 p.m., and in local classrooms. The Fundred Dollar Bills created in Durham will be on display in Golden Belt’s Studio 115. When 3 million Fundreds have been collected, they will be delivered by an armored truck powered by vegetable oil (collected by local schools) to Washington, D.C.
There, artist and Fundred creator Mel Chin will request an even exchange of $3 million in real dollars from the U.S. government. The money raised will help promote better environmental conditions for communities in New Orleans through lead removal.
Juline Chevalier, curator of education at the Nasher Museum, said she is excited about this opportunity to extend the museum’s reach into the community and inspire people to take part in a meaningful art project. For students, she says, personalizing currency helps to personalize the situation in New Orleans, post-hurricane Katrina. She hopes that contributions by students will show that their creative actions can make a difference.
Educators at the Nasher Museum will provide resources to area teachers to take part in the Fundred project and make connections to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Students will learn about the $100 bill, symbolism and critical thinking skills in the areas of social studies, science and visual arts.
Already, teachers at Southwest Elementary, Brogden Middle School and W.G Pearson GT Magnet Elementary have told us they plan to create Fundreds with their students.
For more information about the Fundred Dollar Bill Project go to www.fundred.org