"At this time in my life, I’m ready to accept or own a kind of romance and melancholy or melodrama that I wasn’t ready to reveal before. It was always there in my inner life as an artist, but I was too afraid to share it."
From the series, "Exclusive"
Art21-featured artist Mel Chin (Season 1) originated the "Fundred Dollar Bill Project" to draw attention to and develop solutions for environmentally responsible rebuilding of New Orleans from below the ground up. The artworks—individually created "Fundred Dollar Bills" made by students—will be collected by an armored truck and delivered to Washington D.C., where an even exchange of the value of their art currency for actual funds will be requested.
This video was shot at George Jackson Academy in New York City, an independent middle school serving “bright boys from lower-income families” and which is participating in the project. Art teacher Gary Campbell worked with fourth- through eighth-graders to create "Fundred Dollar Bills." This school is one of the collection centers for all bills created in New York State. Its students are featured discussing their involvement and thoughts on the current situation in New Orleans.
Mel Chin unveiled additional details on the project and examples of "Fundred Dollar Bills" themselves at the 2008 National Art Education Association convention in New Orleans.
Camera/Editing: Larissa Nikola-Lisa; Interviews: Tana Hargest. Sound Operator: David Roesing. PA: Peter Synder. Special thanks to Mel Chin; Mary Rubin and the entire Fundred Dollar Bill Project team; and the students and staff of George Jackson Academy, especially: Jason Alejo, Daniel Baldwin, Darshan Desai, Jamal Elliot, Lateef Fall, Peter Garcia, Lukas Grattan, Joseph Hatton, Mattiyas Letang, Momo Lewis, Fernando Medina, James Norman, Armondo Perez, Mitchel Thomas, Robert Williams.