MAKE IT RAIN POEMS
Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. was recently awarded a creative placemaking grant from International Downtown Association and Springboard for the Arts. Creative placemaking “is the act of people coming together to change over-looked and undervalued public and shared spaces into welcoming places where community gathers, supports one another, and thrives.” Grants were awarded to six cities, and in Oklahoma City, these funds are being used to install “rain poems” at twenty-seven locations throughout eight downtown districts.
Through a partnership with Short Order Poems, a local poetry organization, topics were solicited from the public and distributed to local and national poets, who wrote poems based on the topics. The poems were then cut into stencils by S&S Promotions, and using Rainworks waterproof solution, Short Order Poems is installing the poems at the locations listed on the map. When dry, the poems are invisible. When it rains, or when the sidewalk is sprayed with water, the poem’s text will appear as it remains dry while the surrounding pavement gets wet.
The purpose of the grant is to empower organizations to work with local artists to create “more vibrant and engaging local business districts.” Our hope for this project is to encourage pedestrians to continue exploring outside, even if the weather isn’t perfect, and to interact with language and urban landscapes in new ways. As noted English explorer and writer Ranulph Fiennes said, “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
Look for announcements about upcoming related events on Downtown Oklahoma City and Short Order Poem’s social media feeds, and please post your photos of and with the poems using #MakeItRainPoems.
Visit the Interactive Google Map here to find all of the poem locations. Follow along on social media with #MakeItRainPoems.