Societies for Poetic Action is embarking on the People's Mapping Project as a way of
conversing between art and civic engagement.
We propose that mapping of place and experience can create accessible pathways to
participation from a broad range of citizens. We believe in a radical definition of citizenship;
we can all act as citizens. We hope that the People's Mapping Project will be an avenue for
both common folks and municipal decision makers to engage with and craft personal and
poetic experiences of life in Eureka.
Key Concepts of the Project
Because maps can be resources for engagement, we plan to involve as many citizens as
possible in answering questions and developing maps based on their experiences of
Eureka. We will visit schools, parks, and local cultural sites while also developing a
door-to-door campaign. We will search out opportunities to involve people who may not
otherwise get the opportunity to be involved in community projects. We plan to reach out to
people who are houseless and from other marginalized groups. We want learn about
various perspectives on life in Eureka. We all play a part in building community and we
believe that inclusion and participation develop relationships that make our community
stronger. We also believe in building networks with and supporting the work of people
working with marginalized communities within Eureka. We recognize the work that others
are doing in our community and plan to work with existing groups as much as possible.
Participants will be asked questions about their experiences of place. They will also be
asked to create maps based on their histories and hopes for the future. With permission, we
will take photos of participants and the places they feel connected to. We will also make
some recordings of people to be used online and possibly in a pocast.
Societies for Poetic Action is a group comprised of artists, and we will use art making as a
tool for creating sites for participation and connection. We will host map-making parties and
events and are interested in ways that public spaces are also art spaces. As we go into
neighborhoods and parks, we will use techniques from visual art and theater/performance to
make participation more inviting.
We plan to make a physical map/book, The People's Map of Eureka. We will also create
an online resource. Finally, we will create an interactive installation to culminate the project.