Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hand-lettered Signs, youtube, and Politics

I am working for the Jim Stiles for Mayor campaign in Newburyport, MA. My task is organizing a campaign based on the Burma Shave signs of days gone by. We brought it into the twenty-first century with accompanying youtube videos.

Jim Stiles and his wife Mary had the idea of doing a Burma Shave style sign campaign with series of signs on Jim's positions on some of the key issues facing Newburyport. I thought it was a great idea and volunteered to letter the signs. Jim wrote one of the verses and I sent out a call to two of my writer friends. Nancy Hajeski, who writes as Nancy Butler, contributed the waterfront verse and Carolyn Caci the one on the schools. Although the original signs were red and white, I did the lettering in black since I had had a great luck with the durability and resistance to rain of sumi ink in my Translations outdoor installations. I did end up having to spray them with a clear protective finish as the foam core had a slick surface unlike the handmade paper from Bhutan.

I somehow also took on the task of organizing the sitings, once a day somewhere in Newburyport, for 45 minutes to an hour. The trick is that at least four people are needed for each siting and it won't work with less.

I also got the bright idea that the sign holding campaign should be accompanied by a youtube video. Local filmmaker Mark Gallagher kindly agreed to do the video and we spent a Sunday filming Jim and three sets of supporters holding signs. The process of organizing it all was very interesting and went smoothly considering that it was a first effort for me and the participants (the candidate and the volunteers).

The waterfront (concerning the question of what should be done with land owned by the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority. Current mayor is pushing for parking. Our candidate wants primarily park.)

Historic Preservation and Growth

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