By Rebecca DeNell
Our first ever Take A Stand Community Engagement Art Installation Event was a smashing success!
Through my internship at AARP, I learned how Social Security needs to be updated for the 21st century. As part of my work on AARP's Take A Stand campaign, I was thrilled to partner with Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to develop this intergenerational, interactive art piece. Over the course of four days, two, three-sided silhouette structures, made from recycled office materials, were set up inside the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) City and East Campus Unions.
Rolls of stickers were then stacked in front of the display, and students were encouraged to place stickers on the silhouette figures to show their support. This community engagement public art piece was structured to bridge the gap between generations through teamwork. Together the community of students and AARP volunteers ‘finished’ the art installations, raised awareness of the importance of updating Social Security, and began ‘ Taking A Stand’ to make sure our policy makers have a plan to keep Social Security strong.
Personally, the best moments of working on this project came from the community engagement. Placing stickers on a board is a fun task for anyone of any age, but
I still didn’t expect the level of excitement from UNL staff, students, and visitors to the University. Through the simplicity and genuine fun of interacting with the art piece, each individual organically asked about the importance of Social Security and how they could Take A Stand in their everyday life. AARP and PRSSA ended up reaching well over 1,000 members of the community. Interest and surprise would flash across faces as they became aware that this issue will affect them and future generations.