Mel Chin: The Fundred Dollar Bill Project

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Over the past year, word has been spreading of a unique nationwide art project that gathers the individual expression of students into a collective call for action. The Fundred Dollar Bill project invites students of all ages to participate in a giant performance artwork and collective creative action to support the rebuilding of New Orleans.

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The “artworks” created by students will be collected by a special armored truck and delivered to the Federal Reserve and Congress in Washington D.C. where an even exchange of the value of their art currency for actual funds or services will be requested.

Season 1 artist Mel Chin originated the Fundred Dollar Bill Project to draw attention and to develop solutions for the environmentally responsible rebuilding of the New Orleans from ‚Äúbelow the ground up.‚Äù As with much of Chin‚Äôs work, he sees this project as a collaborative action, where every contribution is valued and celebrated. Unconventional and politically engaged, Chin’s projects challenge the idea of the artist as the exclusive creative force behind an artwork.

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Over the coming months, we’ll follow the development of the Fundred project and feature the work of its participants. We’ll visit with Mel Chin to discuss the project, as well his upcoming Super Session talk at the NAEA Annual Convention in New Orleans in March. We’ll also make a visit to a school in New York that has implemented the Fundred project throughout its curriculum. Be sure to drop in regularly or sign up for an RSS feed.

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To learn more about the Fundred project and how your students can get involved, visit the Fundred Dollar Bill Project website at www.fundred.org (password: “paydirt.”) There you will find a simple lesson plan, templates, as well as information on the truck and how many bills have been collected to date (on the Fundred Vault Page). To see more photos of Fundred Bills visit the project’s Flickr site.

Are you an educator already participating in the project? We‚Äôd love to hear from you. Drop us a line in the comment section to tell us how you are using the Fundred project in your classroom. Also, be sure to check out a map of all of the participating schools. Feel free to add your school’s description or upload an image of your students’ work.

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View clips from Mel Chin’s Art in the Twenty-First Century segment here.

All artwork courtesy of Mel Chin.

Contributor
Art21 Director of Special Projects
  1. Mimi Moncier says:

    I’m using the Fundred Project as a way of teaching the students about individual expression within teamwork. It is really beautiful to see how much they want to help New Orleans, not to mention their complete fascination with the armored vehicle and the fact that it will be fueled with oil from cafeterias. I’m currently trying to get more teachers involved and hopefully we will have lots of bills to send in! Being from New Orleans, it is quite touching for me to see the enthusiasm.
    Thanks to Mel Chin for the idea and leading the team who brought it into being!

    Reply

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  3. Otis College of Art and Design and The Accelerated Charter Elementary School (ACES) are working together on the Fundred Dollar Bill Project. This collaborative Art and Design project between the two schools was an incredible experience.

    Reply

  4. Anne Marie DAgostino says:

    I am doing this project with my Middle School Art classes to teach value and self expression. This is a very cool project.

    Reply

  5. Ann Weaver says:

    The Fundred Project has been extremely meaningful to my 650+ elementary students. We have talked about reasons for creating art and how Mel Chin is using art to help our world be a better place for them to grow up. Included in our discussions have been hurricanes, pollution and cleaning up our environment, geography, social issues, crops our local farmers grow that can be used to make vegetable oils (peanuts, corn, soybeans, the importance of converting the Fundred truck to an alternative fuel, and much more. From kindergarten to fifth grade, they are really into this project. Since we are a collection site, they are excited about seeing the Fundred armored truck coming to our school to pick up the completed Fundreds. I encourage any teacher to get involved for the many benefits to their students.

    Reply

  6. Paul Harris says:

    My heart and hat is off to Mel Chin and all of you artists who contribute. I was a tourist who couldn’t escape New Orleans and was stuck in the Superdome during Katrina. I have zero artistic ability but did manage a memoir last year entitle “Diary From the Dome”. 25% of any profits from the sale of new books are being given to local NOLA charities.

    Peace,

    Paul Harris

    Reply

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  8. Disfrute, Felicitaciones!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  9. gabbie says:

    i have a question
    how do you print out the fundred dollar bill project?

    Reply

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