Art Meets Books is an art and literature program designed together with a librarian of Hudson Park Library. One of the Art Meets Books programs, “Cans for the Community,” is inspired by the book Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman, David Clemesha, and Dan Yaccarino, where Mr, Gilly helps keep the community clean. We have thought about how we could bring the art to the community as a meaningful way of belonging to our community. With a question from the book, the “Cans for the Community” project is designed to decorate a trash can to appreciate our community helpers.
Just like the book, where Mr. Gilly goes around to empty the trash can, we believed that a trash can would be a good connection between us and community; community and community helpers. We visited Washington Square Park, Hudson Park Library, and FDNY Engine 24 to get permits for the project and collected three trash cans from each place. Then we brought them to Washington Square Park and encouraged the public to decorate the trash can with words and drawings of appreciation for each place's community helpers.
The project went well with all aged participants every Saturday for two weeks, and the cans turned into the most beautiful and meaningful trash cans filled with the public’s words and drawings. The cans have been donated to each place: Washington Square Park, Hudson Park Library, and FDNY Engine 24. We are hoping that the cans covered with little pieces of work from the public would be the community helpers’s daily happiness and energy.