East Central College received an Outstanding Community Partnership award from the Interdependence Hexagon Project for hosting the Midwest Regional event titled Transforming Conflict “River to Ocean Project.”
The Hexagon Project is managed by a dedicated group of artists, educators and friends – who join with others in various parts of United States and the world. The Hexagon Project Arts Program [or “Hexagon Arts”] aims to use art, in the shape of a hexagon, as a vehicle to bring social change, promote social justice and transform individuals and societies.
ECC Art faculty partnered with schools from across the area on the project, including Bourbon high school, Cuba elementary, Lucy Wortham James elementary in St. James, Owensville high school, Sullivan high school and the Sullivan elementary art club.
“We were pleasantly surprised to receive the award,” says Adam Watkins, Assistant Art Professor. “To be acknowledged for the collaborative work of our faculty, area elementary and high school students and their teachers is a testament to the partnership between the College and our area schools.”
The project was titled “The Dead Zone” and focused on the pollution of local waterways with herbicides/pesticides and raw sewage through runoff and flooding. The tainting of local waterways ultimately creates problems in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This project was a way to get students thinking about our actions here in Missouri, “says Jennifer Higerd, Assistant Art Professor. “We want to show how the actions in the Midwest affects us and ultimately results in a cumulative effect on the Gulf.”
The project lived by the intent of the Hexagon Project. 146 textbooks intended to be placed in a landfill were used to create the 292 hexagons in the display that was featured in the atrium of the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center earlier this year.
“My goal is to educate our youth about environmental issues through the creative process of creating artwork,” adds Valarie McEuen, an Art educator at Sullivan high school. “I find it concerning that so many students are familiar with broad terms but have very little connection with how individual and local activities play into this issue.”
For more information about the Interdependence Hexagon Project, visit www.hexagonproject.org