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Mel Chin: The Fundred Dollar Bill Project


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.

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.

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.

To learn more about the Fundred project and how your students can get involved, visit the Fundred Dollar Bill Project website at (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.

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

All artwork courtesy of Mel Chin.

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