A city thrives when their voices are heard. Some efforts have shown that The City of Hayward wants to “do a better job of understanding who their citizens are and what their citizens want” however, “a lot of citizens feel left out,” Sean McFarland, Advisor of The Student Initiative Center at Chabot College mentioned during an interview. How do we voice the words from the people in our community?
For this proposal, about 100 Chabot students collaborated to create, “Needles in the HayStack,” a community-inspired art exhibit taking place in Haywards City Hall.
Tennyson Thrives is a collaborative effort between community members, Hayward City staff, and the Chabot College Student Initiative Center to create and implement a dynamic Vision Plan for the neighborhoods along the Tennyson Corridor.
So, what’s the plan? Advisor Sean McFarland admits that the goal is for, “The Mayor and The City Council, to see this in their workspace, take a second to stop and interact with the art pieces.” The art exhibit will showcase a wide variety of art pieces made from an array of material in efforts to voice the opinions of the community. Some projects displayed are photo albums that open up into singing telegrams and other projects have stretched the artistic imagination by making movies, blankets, and CDs related to Hayward.
Collectively there will be about 70 pieces submitted. This has been the strategy of the community to elevate the truth and the heart of the citizen’s concerns. “We’ve had students go down and talk to citizens of South Hayward. It’s been exciting.” Advisor McFarland feels that through this art show artist will, “tell the stories of the people, rather than an essay, and it’s an epic amount.” One of the pieces also includes a roughly 6 foot long display board vividly illustrating the culture of a citizen from Hayward portrayed by a talented Chabot artist.
Lynn’de Holder, Tania Romero, and Monica Hernandez came together to work on an ambitious piece emulating one of Hayward’s well-known landmarks, the welcome fountain that invites you to South Hayward’s border.
Monica believes that what inspired her to create the project was that, “it’s always been a part of Hayward…but it hasn’t received much attention since the city stopped doing maintenance on it.” Monica Hernandez was the inspirational mind behind the replica of the infamous Hayward fountain that welcomes citizens.
Tania believes that “the idea for the art was to take something that is supposed to represent Hayward in a way, and interpret the lives of the people that make the city what it is.” In a desire to reach out to the Council, Tania Romero, “hopes that this project will give them insight into South Hayward life and help them think of these lives.”
In pursuit of finding the hidden beauties and lost artistry of Tennyson Corridor, the C.B.O’s also known as Community Based Organizations, “are getting a good pulse of the community,” and Sean McFarland also details that “ this work explains what matters to the citizens.”
The students felt honored and pleased to be apart of an ambitious project in hopes to shed light on South Hayward’s concerns. Happily, with the art exhibit, the collaboration of Chabot students will bring light to the “personal views and lives of the South Hayward residents” as mentioned by artist Tania Romero.
The art exhibit in Hayward City Hall will be open from May 21 to May 25. There, you will be able to explore the beauty of “Needles in the HayStack” exhibit which will have its grand opening on Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.