The Art Float for Social Change approaches the judges at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, where it won the ‘Best Community Spirit Award’. Photo by Dana Dworin.
Behold the Art Float for Social Change!
We created this parade float at Tam Makers in spring 2018, to engage more people to participate in community life and democracy.
This community art project was led by Fabrice Florin and Geo Monley, co-founders of Tam Makers, with the support of Good Earth Natural Foods, the Mill Valley Community Action Network (MVCAN) and Tamalpais High School. This parade float was built in our state-of-the-art wood shop and makerspace at Tam High, with over a hundred community members of all ages and backgrounds — including makers, artists, activists, students, parents and staff.
The Art Float for Social Change features Mother Earth and a circle of hands, pulled by the dragon Quetzy, created by Howard Rheingold and Pataphysical Studios. They invite you to vote, speak up and create a better world! The art on the carousel was created by winners of the Youth Poster Contest. Our performers include Emma Spike, Sheri Cooper and Clancy Bounds, as well as the Freedom Singers and their sing-along leaders Greg Brodbank, Wayne Lechner and Marilyn Price.
The Art Float was first unveiled on Earth Day and made its official debut at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, where we received the ‘Best Community Spirit Award’. We will show the Art Float again at the Fairfax Festival and Fourth of July Parade in Corte Madera — and throughout California this fall, to encourage people to vote in the midterms election. Our traveling art show will reach out to youth and people of color through art, music, and technology.
You can see the Art Float in action in this video (also embedded below), in this Facebook photo album or in this full photo album on Flickr. Learn more with this Independent Journal article about our float, the IJ’s photo coverage of Memorial Day, as well as our own photos of Earth Day and how the Art Float was created.
As shown in this video, the Art Float for Social Change inspired thousands of spectators at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, where it won the ‘Best Community Spirit Award’. Performers included Emma Spike and the Freedom Singers. Video by Luis Costa, Fabrice Florin and Marin Weatherspoon.
Join us at the Fairfax Parade
We invite you to march with us at the Fairfax Parade on June 9, 2018, 10am-1pm, along with our sponsors Good Earth, the Freedom Singers and our environmental partners 350Marin and friends. If you would like to march with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also plan to bring the float to the Fourth of July Parade in Corte Madera.
Volunteer for the Art Float
Would you like to help present the art float this summer? Join our crew for one of these events:
- Saturday, June 9, 9am-4pm – Fairfax Festival Parade
- Wednesday, July 4, 9am-4pm – Fourth of July Parade in Corte Madera
During these events, we need help with: loading, driving, coordination, security, setup, photos, sound, video, greeting, hosting, packing, unloading.
If you would like to give us a hand on any of these dates, email us at<email@example.com> for more instructions. You can sign up for the whole day, or just for the morning or afternoon shift.
Photos from Memorial Day
The Art Float for Social Change at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, with a sing-along led by the Freedom Singers. Photo by Fabrice Florin.
A group picture of the Art Float crew and its supporters at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade. Photo by Suz Lipman.
Art Float creators Fabrice Florin and Geo Monley at the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade. Photo by Martha Ture.
Photos from Earth Day
An early version of the Art Float was unveiled on Earth Day at Tam High School, to inspire more people to participate in democracy. Photo by Howard Rheingold.
Art Float creators Geo Monley show off their unique parade float, with a large globe spinning over a circle of hands and a carousel of art, while performer Kayla Campbell sings about youth in action. Photo by Tim Pozar.
The Art Float features the colorful dragon Quetzy, created by Howard Rheingold and inspired by the Aztec god of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl. Photo by Martha Ture.
Young artist Emma Spike sings her original composition, ‘Custodians’ to invite people to take action to protect the environment, standing on the Art Float’s podium on Earth Day. Photo by Jenny Tomkins.
Young activist Mimi Lawrence speaks up about her climate change on the Art Float’s podium, which was created to help people share their ideas for a better world. Photo by Fabrice Florin.
A young artist shows off her painting for the Art Float’s art carousel, which also features original creations by the winners of the Youth Poster Contest. Photo by Fabrice Florin.
Musician Reed Fromer sings about climate change next to the Art Float, which was created to help people share their ideas for a better world. Photo by Fabrice Florin.
You can also view photos of the making of the Art Float in this special photo album on Flickr.
An early design session for the Art Float, which was created to help people share their ideas for a better world. Photo by Chris Krueger.
Thanks to all our friends, neighbors, partners and community members who made this project possible!
The Art Float was created by Fabrice Florin, Geo Monley and over a hundred volunteers at Tam Makers, with the gracious support of Good Earth, the Mill Valley Community Action Network (MVCAN), Tamalpais High School and the Youth Poster Contest.
Kudos to our float construction crew, led by David Barr, Pierina Dell’Avo, Chris Krueger, James Long, Chris Scofield, Pam and Stan Weatherspoon, to name but a few — they all worked tirelessly, above and beyond the call of duty, to bring you this experience. Tip of the hat as well to Howard Rheingold for creating the colorful Quetzy dragon, along with Freddy Hahne, Jean Bolte, Phyllis Florin, Mark Petrakis and others at Pataphysical Studios.
Many thanks to our talented performers Emma Spike, Sheri Cooper and Clancy Bounds, Reed Fromer, as well as Greg Brodbank, Wayne Lechner, Marilyn Price and all the Freedom Singers. We are also very grateful to our wonderful videographers Luis Costa, David Donnenfield, Bob Harlow, Tim Pozar, Kim Spencer and Marin Witherspoon, as well as our gracious photographers Dana Dworin, Vickisa Feinberg, Fabrice Florin, Suz Lipman, Howard Rheingold, Grace Severtson and Martha Ture.
Special thanks as well to our partners Jessica Hurtado at Good Earth, June Cooperman and Eileen Fisher at MVCAN and Bruce Burtch at the Youth Poster Contest. We are deeply grateful to our event team Carol Korenbrot and Marilyn Price and our ‘art float widows’ Phyllis Florin and Meryl Rubenstein, who kept us all organized, happy and well fed. Last but not least, we wish to thank all our gracious parade organizers: Larry ‘The Hat’ Lautzker, Paul Moe and Erma Murphy (Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade), Cynthia Briggs (Fairfax Festival) and all the nice folks at the Corte Madera Fourth of July Parade for hosting these important community events, year after year.
We really appreciate all your creativity, enthusiasm and generous support! We hope this community art project will inspire even more people to participate in democracy. We invite you all to vote, speak up and create a better world!
We hope to see you soon!
Co-founders/Teachers, Tam Makers
Team Leaders, Art Float for Social Change
This page was adapted from our project page on the Tam Makers site.