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2005 Media Releases

August 18, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Anne Pagel, Lincoln Arts Council, 434-2787

Mayor Kicks Off "Stories Of Home" Public Art Project
Artists and families to collaborate on three-dimensional pieces

Mayor Coleen J. Seng and Philadelphia artist Pepon Osorio today kicked off the Lincoln Arts Council’s (LAC) new public arts project “Stories of Home.” Osorio, an internationally recognized artist, will work with 12 local teams, each comprised of an artist, a family and a student. Each team will create an original work reflecting the story of the family.

“This is unlike any other public art project we have experienced before,” said Mayor Seng. “I believe ‘Stories of Home’ will capture the imagination of the public and help create a community discussion about family, diversity and art.”

The LAC requested applications from artists and from families of all ethnicities, ages, religions, lifestyles and income levels. This month, a panel of jurors, including Osorio, will choose the artists and families to be included. Fund-raising efforts will provide each artist with a $4,500 commission, and the families will be compensated for their expenses. Osorio will guide the nine-month creation of the art. In June 2006, the 12 pieces will be exhibited in a variety of settings in the community for nine months. The art will be sold at auction at the end of the project in February 2007.

Longtime arts advocates, Robert and Karen Duncan and their family, will serve as honorary chairs. Four generations of the Duncan family will participate in the project.

“Our family is proud to serve as honorary chairs for ‘Stories of Home,’” said Robert and Karen Duncan. “We are passionate about the arts and have made them a central part of our lives. Yet, even more compelling for us is the focus on family. The Lincoln Arts Council’s objective is to engage the City in learning about and sharing experiences, memories, ideals and perceptions of home and family. We believe that ‘Stories of Home’ will draw the people of Lincoln closer together through art and encourage citizens to open their doors to this innovative project by giving time, talent and financial support.”

In addition to a donation from the Duncan family, the project also has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lincoln Community Foundation, the Cooper Foundation, Home Realty and individuals.

“Unlike LAC’s successful ‘Tour de Lincoln’ project, this is not a fund-raising effort,” said Deb Van Horn Weber, LAC Executive Director. “Our goal is to honor Lincoln’s diversity while celebrating the ways in which we are all connected. We consider this our gift to the community.”

Project Chair Peter Heckman and Vice Chairwoman Rose Ann Dowty are leading 10 committees and many volunteers working on the project. The project was initiated by Dowty, who saw a feature on Osorio on PBS. The project was created when Osorio visited Lincoln in July 2004 for three days of meetings with more than 80 arts, university and community leaders.

Osorio is originally from Puerto Rico. He was trained as a social worker, and his own works focus on family and cultural identity. He now teaches art at Temple University in Philadelphia and his work has been featured in magazines and exhibited nationally and internationally. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award, often called the “genius” award.

For more information about “Stories of Home” and to find out about how you can be involved visit the LAC’s Web site at

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