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World Policy Institute's 12x12 Project, Asking New Yorkers to Ponder Smarter Consumption, Launches July 13th at QBG

CONTACT: Brendan Foo
212 481-5005

Michelle Barge
917 658-8708
WEBSITE: the12x12project.tumblr.com

NEW YORK, NY  June 28, 2013 – The World Policy Institute (WPI), in collaboration with top New York City artists, invites the public and the media to view the first art installation of
The 12x12 Project at Queens Botanical Garden beginning on July 2, 2013. The installation, along with artists who will engage in a community dialog, will be in residence at the Garden through the month of July. The project stems from author and WPI Senior Fellow, William Powers, who was inspired by the powerful story of a North Carolina pediatrician who gave up a luxurious home to live off the grid in a 12’ x 12’ house and permaculture farm. The living art structure’s mission is to engage the public in dialogue about how smarter consumption might change their lives – and the planet.

Powers, who spent a season living in the “tiny house” chronicled his stay in the 2010 award-winning, national “green living” bestseller, now in its fifth printing: Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream. The 12x12 Project grows out of this experience.

The book created a national and now global dialogue on how much is too little, too much, or just enough. This conversation inspired well-known NYC-based architects and artists Betsy Damon, Simon Draper, Erik Ajemian and Christy Rupp to form a “creative team” to work together to engage New Yorkers in an innovative, artistic and engaging way.

The first installation of a 12x12 at Queens Botanical Gardens will begin with a community build at the site on July 2, and will be kicked off with an official launch party on July 13. The initial build will be erected by Habitat for Artists’ Simon Draper in collaboration with and assistance from White Roof Project and The Refugee and Immigrant Fund. The installation is a simple, modular space that houses panels containing text and questions from the Twelve by Twelve book. These panels will vary, allowing the project to grow and evolve. Participants including the public, invited groups and artists will engage with the question: “What’s your 12x12?” to spark new thinking around what smart consumption means for each person. Starting on July 9, the first artist-in-residence will be Beth Grossman, a socio-political artist, who sees the visual as a way to create community dialog. The installation will be open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:00am to 6:00pm throughout the month of July.

The structure will be designed with sustainable materials to bring the 12x12 concept to life. While the interior and exterior reflect and collect thoughts and discussions, the 'butterfly' roof, resembling an open book, will collect and channel rainwater into barrels for use within the structure and for an eventual garden component. Elements in and around the 12x12 pavilion will evolve as different artists and invited groups take up short-term residencies and incorporate new reflections expanding the concepts of community and conscious living. Future versions of the installation may involve solar photovoltaic panels and/or a roof garden.

Social media will facilitate discussions among artists, their audience, and the global community during and after the installations. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram (@12x12project) will serve as online meeting places.

The launch party on Saturday, July 13, will run from 4:00pm to 6:00pm where the media and community members will be invited to view the 12x12 and speak with the artists and collaborators. Refreshments will be served and provided by a local, green and sustainable eatery. Guests are invited to stay for an open-air concert on the Oak Alleé from 6:15pm to 7:45pm.  QBG will be presenting the Yowana Sari Gamelan Orchestra as part of its Music in the Garden series.

For questions about the 12x12 Project, artists, media requests and technical specs contact: Brendan Foo at foo@worldpolicy.org or Michelle Barge at barge@worldpolicy.org and visit our website: http://the12x12project.tumblr.com/.

About The World Policy Institute:
The World Policy Institute (www.worldpolicy.org) is a center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers and solutions. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, policy development and media outreach provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate from a global perspective.

About Queens Botanical Garden:
Queens Botanical Garden (www.queensbotanical.org) is a 39-acre living museum located on property owned by the City of New York and operated by an independent Board of Trustees. QBG is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship.



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