The Dept. of Public Art is using art and scraps of wood to remind people to vote Tues. Nov. 3rd. "We encourage civic engagement in our public art, so this is a natural extension to remind people of their civic duty," said Peg Johnston, one of the organizers of the volunteer group. The odd shaped pieces of wood, left over from Mural Fest 2015, were brightly painted and the words Vote Nov. 3rd inscribed. The DPA intends to use the signs on social media and as lawn signs, or wherever people want to display them. Anyone wishing to post one –or paint more– please contact the DPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A public art group in Philadelphia paired art with voting in their "Next Stop: Democracy" project. They recruited 60 artists to create vibrant signs to mark polling stations, and to engage citizens in the voting process.
Their statement: "Can public art increase voter engagement? This is a question that hasn’t been answered, so we’re getting Philadelphia’s best creatives together to help us find out. Election Day should be one of the most exciting days of the year, but to many people, it seems like a chore. Finding your polling place, finding the entrance, and waiting in line can be complicated and frustrating. Plus, the signage required by the city to identify a polling place is nothing more than a few pieces of paper taped up on the wall outside the door. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you wouldn’t give it a second glance. It doesn’t have to be this way! What if we could transform Election Day from something frustrating into something fun? Our idea is simple. Election Day should be an experience. Instead of boring, confusing signs, let’s use bright, vibrant artwork to identify our polling places. Can artists and performers make Election Day in Philadelphia a little more colorful? We vote yes!"
Less than 50% of voters turn out for elections, even in years where there is a Presidential race. On so called "off election cycles" the turnout is often even less, yet, local elections may affect individuals on many more levels.