Monuments are political
Whether they are memorials to people or events at the core monuments, public art has a political message. Who has the power to erect these works controls that message and public spaces in general? It’s almost exclusively the rich, powerful and establishment that decide. In this political context the idea of community participation monuments (CPM) is developing. I want to challenge this notion of who can put up a monument and put ordinary people’s stories central.
We need to tell the story of the working classes, disenfranchised, underrepresented, and forgotten in our society, and create public art that represents us. Its important to tell these stories by using the energy of those who it is important to and by their active participation. CPM in that regard sees itself as part of, and an aid to, social and political movements.
Creating a solid financial base
I am in the process of creating two community participation monuments/public art works. Solidarity Park and Periphery is the Centre. There has been an army of participants in both projects but I realize already I cannot do this project alone, and I cannot continue without financial backing for running costs.
My aim is to create a professional cooperative and linked network to continue these projects and develop others. The first task is to create a solid financial base. While I have financial support from crowd funding or sponsoring organizations for the actual projects, the organizational structure and daily costs are not being met. Most of the development work for the projects, the participation work I do in schools and on the street, is for free. I also have no cushion for the many complications, delays and unseen costs. While I am inspired to do the projects I obviously need to eat.
I feel because of the nature of the projects I must be answerable to people that share my vision. So I want the sponsorship from you not governments or companies. If you donate and send me a contact email, I will show you my accounts I will consider you my democratic base. I will not take any more money than a average skilled worker’s wage. Surplus money will be put back into developing a bigger team and projects that don’t have independent funding.
Examples of why I need your money
The monthly running cost of creating this type of work is significant for a single artist. I have basic monthly running costs as follow: €300 self employment tax, €400 workshop rent, €250 petrol and tolls costs, €150 payment for van, €100 accountants, €100 insurance. €800 personal (rent and food). A total of €2,100 that must be found each month to continue. With a yearly cost of at least €25,200
For the last three years I have been dedicated to the solidarity park project. We successfully raised €17,500 by crowd funding which paid for the creation of 60 half meter stone figures and allowed me to develop a community campaign. I have done teaching to supplement income but the work now is too intense for that.
We now have the agreement of the local council to fund the remaining installation of solidarity park. But I am not a big company that local councils are used to working with. I have had to borrow money to produce the rest of the work with payment at the end of the project. This in reality for me means no wages for over 2 years and a big debt and all the risks that come with this. So I need support to build a secure future for the CPM idea.
What I need to continue
My plan is to raise by public donations half my yearly running costs. €12,000. Fund-raising itself is a tough job. But I am hopeful you will back me. I hope to develop a more sophisticated methods of encouraging you to support me, like workshops, merchandise, mini sculptures etc. but for this moment I just ask you for whatever you can afford.
There are a few ways to donate
To start with, you can use the Facebook fundraising campaign I have started. My Facebook page
You can go to Solidarity park crowd funding page which can be found at solidarity park crowd funding
You can donate by PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org or Paypal.me/robmacstone
I will shortly be creating a payment page where other options will be available.
You can also message me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and make a pledge, and we can work out a payment method.