You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours
In collaboration with the Somerville Arts Council I produced the first public participatory art installation in Davis Square to engage the community in a public discussion about the lottery. How the lottery affects the Somerville community is a microcosm for what happens across the nation. Using two adjacent storefront windows in a busy shopping intersection, I combined intimate photographs of locally owned convenience and liquor stores with charts and graphs synthesizing long-term lottery data. I then invited passersby to contribute personal lottery stories and opinions. These hand-written notes were added every week to the windows creating a collective community discourse. After just nineteen days, 239 people stopped to participate and countless gathered at the windows to read comments and join in spontaneous group discussions.
In Massachusetts, organizations like The Somerville Arts Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council receive 90% of their funding from lottery revenue.