Throughout the year, elaborate paper sculptures have been left anonymously at literary venues and libraries across Edinburgh, Scotland. These intricate handmade pieces are lovely gestures that showcase support for cultural institutions in a creative way. Having worked in the nonprofit arts field for the past decade, I have witnessed some pretty unique ways that people in varying financial situations have contributed to arts and cultural organizations. Since the economic downturn, I have noticed people getting more creative with their means of giving. Some people volunteer their time, some utilize their resources and relationships to help out, some designate $10 from each paycheck to donate to their favorite nonprofit organization, and others create pieces of art for fundraising auctions. The list goes on and on, and every little bit helps - whether it's donating your money or sharing your artistic skills with your community.
Even though this particular example doesn't impact me on a local level, it had a positive impact on me and triggered a smile (from ear to ear). I also must admit...the new media nerd in me thinks the inclusion of Twitter handles in the artist's notes is pretty darn cool [to read the notes, go to the original post here]. This anonymous artist knows that social networking = free marketing = press coverage = people like me, millions of miles away, reading this inspiring story = more coverage = more social networking. Which generates interest from all over the world and raises awareness about these literary institutions - which in theory, brings new donors, supporters, and volunteers.
Found at the Scottish Poetry Library in March:
Found at the National Library of Scotland in June:
Found at Filmhouse Cinema Edinburgh in June:
Found at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in July:
Found at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August:
Read the full story (as well as the notes left with each sculpture) and see more photos here.