Its the same as other projects…but totally different.
Humacao, a small historic waterfront town on the south eastern coast of Puerto Rico was suffering from a declining economy when the eye of Hurricane Maria entered Puerto Rico through the city, devastating it.
Just prior to the storm, the Humacao Municipality with the community service organization Altrusa International, was planning a small local art festival which they had to cancel.
Hoping to differentiate themselves from other events and create something more memorable, they contacted us to manage the art production process on their behalf. Elegel saw the opportunity to put into place what it had learned from other projects worldwide and its own LAS50 community program to maximize the experience for the community, visitors and artists. Under a five week production window, Elegel quickly brought in its financial and strategic partner, Coqui Charities to aid in solving problems of equipment and supplies and more directly at the point of need.
Under the umbrella of the festival, Elegel Group set out to create something different than other art festivals popping up in Puerto Rico. The project was approached as follows:
Mix local artists with international artists to generate as much global attention and interest as possible. A rough ratio of 70% local to 30% international artists was put in place.
Insure there was a range of styles so that everyone could find pieces they could enjoy. Character, fine, abstract, comic, artisinal, graffiti and pop art are represented.
Choose walls with the most impact and to drive traffic around the city center, 90% within two streets of the city center and match artists and art according to their experience, style and time commitment.
Work with artists and their concept development to create works that follow current urban art trends while retaining their own personal flavor. Push artists to produce their “best piece ever.”
Involve local residents and business owners as much as possible, invite them into the process, and encourage them through our work to better their surrounding.
The festival on Nov. 11th was a good motivator for the completion of murals, to get a crowd to come see them, to generate some publicity and to celebrate, but this project was never about a mural festival. Project Grita was about helping a community back on its feet, instill a sense of pride, clean some stuff up and most importantly to make it interesting so that people would come visit, see the murals, stay and have coffee or lunch or beers or buy something in a shop.
It was designed as a catalyst, a big boom, from where a new concept of community transformation could be put into place and from there to develop programs and activities to continue the momentum.
Elegel Group has presented the Municipio de Humacao and Altrusa International a forward thinking strategy to build upon this jump start and to continue to make Humacao a place of interest for locals, nationals and tourists on an ongoing basis. It remains to be seen whether they can recognize the achievement and build upon this great achievement by this collection of artists.
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