My choice TED Talk is “How Can Public Arts Projects Transform Rough Neighborhoods?” This talk is given by Dre Urhahn and Jeroen Koolhaas. These two men started their project to transform rough neighborhoods into beautiful works of art in Rio. Later, they received a call asking for them to do a project in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States, north Philadelphia. Both of these projects allowed for these two men to live in the neighborhood at the time of their projects. This, they said, was almost a better experience than the painting itself.
One of the limits of the art discussed in this TED Talk would have to be funding. Urhahn and Koolhaas had great ideas but lacked the funding for the projects in the beginning. There was not a lot of funding and so many questions from people asking about the specifics, like how many people will you need and how much paint will you need. The process, however, was not planned and mapped out. The men wanted to create a spontaneous effect and so they did not have the answers to these questions. Later, they ended up starting a campaign and received $100,000 in donations. Another limit discussed in this talk is time. The projects, both in Rio and Philadelphia, took a lot of time. The men found themselves having to rethink certain aspects of the project due to the amount of space they had to paint in a certain amount of time. Today, some of the projects are still going on.
The power of the art, however, certainly outweighed the limits in this TED Talk. One of the powers of the art was the ability to transform these rundown and poor neighborhoods into something bright and colorful. Urhahn and Koolhaas took the neighborhoods that struggled with these kinds of issues and made it their mission to create a vibrant environment. Some of the houses in these neighborhoods were not even finished, and hadn’t planned on being finished if it weren’t for Urhahn, Koolhaas, and their team. In this way, art was used to do “good” for others. Art took something that needed help and transformed it into something amazing. Which, in my opinion, was a charitable act through art that was just as powerful, if not better, than a donation.