Art Force 5 thankful for USA Today contest votes

Alfred, NY – After a month of soliciting votes, USA Today’s A Community Thrives contestants have moved on to a judges’ stage, which will review the top ten proposals in each category for a chance at $100,000. The Art Force 5 was honored to share their proposal with the world alongside hundreds of other ideas in the Arts & Culture category. USA Today’s website indicates notification is expected by June 3, 2017.

The Art Force 5 is no stranger to building media partnerships, as they were the recipients of the 2016 Unite Rochester Challenge coordinated by Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper (owned by same Gannett parent company as USA Today). After the 2016 win, the Art Force 5 built a strong relationship with the D&C both contributing stories to their media and building art which served as a visual representation of community issues. The Art Force 5 hopes USA Today judges will see the same potential as D&C’s Senior Community Engagement Editor Julie Philipp.

Julie wrote an editorial regarding the partnership in August:

“After winning the Unite Rochester Challenge in February, these superheroes came to our neighborhoods. They set up shop in parks and on sidewalks, inviting people to help create mosaics while talking about difficult topics like racism, poverty, violence and incarceration. Bent over mosaic tiles, paint brushes in hand, participants found themselves opening up. They shared their own stories, and listened to others. Art Force 5 engaged hundreds, if not thousands, of area adults and children, community leaders and police officers.

“You had no idea how much impact they would have, did you?” Hank Rubin, vice president of Community Programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation — Unite Rochester’s partner in the Challenge — asked me afterward.

No, I did not. Which leads me to wonder, how many us might be unaware of the impact our own “super powers” could have, if only we would use them