I enjoy being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry...
Social Innovation: Making One Million Bones
Genocide in various countries has resulted in millions of deaths during the last few decades. Unfortunately, these events at times never make headlines, yet a small community in Las Vegas's downtown art district are helping to make change and raise awareness by joining a national project to create understanding through art. Thomas Bumblauskas, CEO of Clay Arts Vegas has partnered with the One Million Bones, a U.S. nationwide social innovation arts project to raise the profile about genocides happening in Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.
The One Million Bones project is committed to leveraging the power of art to inspire activism and is reminding people about some of the most horrific events that are taking place globally. It is a has tapped into 30 U.S. states to oversee the creation of clay art bones which will be assembled for a massive art installation on the National Mall in Washington D.C. from 8 to 10 June , 2013.
This social innovation exhibition will serve as a collaborative site of conscience to remember victims and survivors, and will be a visible petition to raise awareness of the issue and call upon the American government to take action. Every bone created through this initiative generates a $1 donation, where up to $500,000 will be donated to CARE for its work in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These funds will be donated by the Bezos Family Foundation. This challenge is a collaboration between One Million Bones, the Bezos Family Foundation, CARE and Global Nomads Group.
Thomas Bumblauskus and his committed team at Clay Arts Vegas are creating 18,000 bones in Nevada, and have joined forces with people of all ages from 8 to 85 in the local community from Girl Scout troop, schools, students at The Adelson Educational Campus and Las Vegas Academy to visitors to Springs Preserve all to create bones. Misty Ahmic, One Million Bones Nevada coordinator says, "With this project, every bone has a voice. The symbolism of the bone shows that we're all part of each other."
The type of impact that One Million Bones aims to have is clear - showing that art is not just decorative but can also make a strong social innovation statement. Seeing 12,000 bones in a pile is an image that I am sure will stay with you. While, this initiative for the local community of Las Vegas too is key, it shows the world that this city has so much more soul to it, than how it is presented to be and highlights a caring local community that has come together in a unique way to raise awareness about a global issue; bringing it home to make change.
Photo Credit: Australian Museum