In June of 2016, Nancy Belmont created UNITY, an interactive public art project, as a response to the divisiveness and negative rhetoric in American politics. In August 2016, it came to Port Hope (see link below) and on Saturday September 14, 2019 it came to Cobourg. Tricky to explain, it ends up with a structure of 32 poles around a centre pole all connected by yarn. The idea is to see that we are all connected by something – and hopefully promote the idea that diversity builds a strong and vibrant community. Nancy lives in Virginia but the Northumberland champion is Megan Deyman, the co-ordinator of the Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy. Other groups involved are Green Wood Coalition, Transition House, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, PARN, and the HKPR District Health Unit.
The Northumberland 2019 UNITY event was held just behind the Farmers Market in Rotary Park.
What is UNITY?
The project organizers say that “the project consists of 32 posts, each with identifiers such as, ‘I’m a parent; I speak English as a second language; I identify as LGBTQ,’ etc. Participants tie colorful yarn to posts that reflect their identities. Their yarn intertwines with others’ to create a web of interconnectedness. In the end, we see that we are all connected by something, and it’s our diversity that builds a strong and vibrant community.”
At the bottom of this post is a list of the “identifiers”.
But the best way to understand what’s being done is to watch this short video:
If you haven’t been to the Farmers’ market this summer you are missing out on a great experience. Not only is it an opportunity to buy fresh local produce, but there are other booths with neat stuff and it’s a chance to meet and chat with people you might know from around Cobourg – kind of like a European Town square.
Here is a video of the Cobourg UNITY event plus a walk around the Farmers’ Market.
- Poles Showcase UNITY in Port Hope – August 2016 – Northumberland News
- U.S./International UNITY Web site
|I have used the food bank
|I’ve been homeless
|I donate to local organizations
|I sometimes feel lonely
|I’m a survivor
|I feel like I belong
|I am First Nations, Metis and/or Inuit
|I am a newcomer to Canada
|I identify as LGBTQ+
|I feel too busy
|I am a student
|I worry about money
|I speak more than one language
|I feel like I have a lot of supports
|I care about someone struggling with substance use
|I’m a single parent
|I enjoy a glass of wine to relax
|I have a spouse or life partner
|I’m in recovery
|Summer is my favourite season
|Mental illness has touched my family
|I have a pet
|I try to practice self-care
|I enjoy playing sports
|I love the arts
|I watch Netflix
|I rent a home
|I play video games
|I own a home
|I am …