Teens participating in the Weinland Park Story Book project Photo: Jay LaPrete
As part of a long-term relationship with the campus-area neighborhood of Weinland Park, the Wexner Center has collaborated on a number of projects that connect residents of the community with museum educators and a variety of artists with local and international reach. Weinland Park is a relatively small-sized community packed with less than 5,000 residents who, collectively, value art and artists, but have very few opportunities to demonstrate these values on a larger scale. Past efforts have included The Builders Association’s multimedia theatrical production HOUSE / DIVIDED, a show about the mortgage crisis that integrated stories from Weinland Park; it premiered at the Wex in 2011 and toured nationally. The Wex also participates in the annual Weinland Park Festival, as well as Red Circle, which facilitates free arts activities for neighborhood families.
Read more about recent community-based collaborations below:
Weinland Park Story Book
The result of a collaboration with local teens, artists, social-service agencies, and the Weinland Park Community Civic Association, the Weinland Park Story Book is a hand-illustrated, limited-edition publication that tells some of the joyful, funny, heartbreaking, and poignant stories and impressions of this vibrant area as it experiences both the benefits and challenges of rapid change and gentrification. You can read the Weinland Park Story Book here.
Culled from visits and interviews conducted by teen interns and Wex staff, the stories in the book are accompanied by more than 100 hand-drawn illustrations by nearly 40 artists, as well as contributions from prize-winning Washington Post journalist Wil Haygood and Ohio-based Marvel Comics artist Sandy Plunkett. Members of the Weinland Park Community Civic Association and the Weinland Park Community Dialogue Circles served as advisers on the project, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s power2give campaign helped to fund the printing of the book.
To celebrate the book's publication, the Wex held a free family-friendly celebration and salon-style exhibition of the original artwork at Godman Guild (see photos from the celebration here). The book was distributed free of charge to those who live and work in Weinland Park, and copies were donated to the Ohio Historical Society, the Columbus Historical Society, Columbus Metropolitan Library branches, and area high schools as well. The book's original drawings reside at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State. See coverage of the project on WOSU.TV here.
Teen participants in the project were recognized by Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks in a ceremony at the Wexner Center.
Weinland Park Billboard Project
The Weinland Park Billboard Project was designed to “take back” the images and messages conveyed at a key gateway of the community for one year. On display at the northwest corner of North 4th Street and East 5th Avenue, designs for the billboard were created by Weinland Park youth in the R.I.S.E. Youth Program, a partnership of Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus and Godman Guild Association, in collaboration with local artists, designers, and educators. R.I.S.E. provides a year-round, drop-in, after-school program for middle- and high-school youth living in Weinland Park.
The first billboard design was unveiled on April 11, 2015; billboard designs will rotate every three months for one year. A free celebration attended by all ages accompanied the unveiling, and included remarks outside Godman Guild, a lively procession over to the billboard, and free scoops of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. See coverage of the project on WOSU.TV here and photos from the unveiling here.
The project was developed in the summer of 2014 with representatives from the Weinland Park Collaborative Communications Committee, chaired by Eric Troy, Ohio State’s Office of Outreach and Engagement. The project is coordinated by the Wexner Center’s Jean Pitman; Dr. Mark Lomax of the R.I.S.E. Youth Program; and Jennifer Mankin, resident and chair of the Weinland Park Community Civic Association Communications Committee.
Read more about the development of the project on our blog.
SUPPORT FOR WEINLAND PARK PROJECTS
The Weinland Park Story Book Project was made possible by lead support from the Cardinal Health Foundation.
Additional support provided by The Columbus Foundation.
Support for the printing of the book provided via Greater Columbus Arts Council’s power2give campaign, including generous donations from: Donald P. Barton, William Casto, Michael Casto, Daniel Crane, Jerry Dannemiller, Jerome Friedman, Ben Gibbons, Liv Gjestvang, Nancy Varga Goodall, Roy Gottlieb, Susan Henderson, Kay Bea Jones, Sarah Kay, Michael Mercil, Shay Myers, Jean Pitman, Amanda Potter, Michael Spino, Doreen Uhas-Sauer, Karen Simonian, Lisa Wente, Michael Wilkos, and Ellen Williams. Matching funds were provided by The Columbus Foundation.
Special thanks to the Godman Guild Association, the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s power2give program and its donors, Short North Alliance, Weinland Park Community Civic Association, lead artist Julian Dassai, the people of Weinland Park, and Weinland Park Story Book Project youth interns Joleah, Hannah, Jasmine, Amin, Josiah, DeRico, and Andrea.
The Weinland Park Billboard Project was organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and R.I.S.E. Youth Program, a partnership of Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus and Godman Guild Association.
The project was made possible by the Weinland Park Collaborative, a consortium of stakeholders focused on improving and sustaining the quality of life in Columbus’s Weinland Park neighborhood. Major support from collaborative members is provided by Cardinal Health, The Columbus Foundation, The Ohio State University, and the Wexner Center for the Arts, with additional support provided by United Way of Central Ohio and Wagenbrenner Development.
In-kind support for the project provided by Clear Channel and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Special thanks to the Weinland Park Community Civic Association.