The We’re Trying Collective hosted a dinner fundraiser called Fork It Over at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts Tuesday night. The fundraiser was for the On the Mark, For the City, which is a project that was created to fund a mural that will be painted on the side of the Mark III Taproom.
The event included music from DJ JANNELL, food from Two Cats Café, a cash bar from the Mark III Taproom and a keynote speak from Jeanne Vaccaro.
The We’re Trying Collective is a group of artists working collaboratively to promote the community’s interests and build a culture of inclusion through creative expression, according to their official Facebook page.
So far the project has raised about $8,500 of its $10,000 goal, and Faith Kellermeyer, project manager for the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development and the We’re Trying Collective, said she hopes this fundraiser will set it over the edge.
“Our goal is to use art as a tool for social change and to help people feel more connected to their community and to embrace diversity and equity for people of all different backgrounds,” Kellermeyer said.
Kellermeyer said the Muncie and Ball State communities have been encouraging.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by how supportive different members of our community have been. I think that people get excited about wanting to make this place better and having an opportunity to get involved in that,” she said.
Kirsten McCauliff and her senior-level capstone COMM 450 class also got involved. McCauliff is an associate professor of communication studies, whose class helped to plan and put together the event.
“My students have been learning a lot about rhetoric in activism, and in particular we focused on art activism and what it can do for a community," McCauliff said. "I’m happy to let them see the arts community of Muncie and how it's integral to making Muncie a really awesome place to live."
McCauliff said the collective wants the mural to mark Muncie, "literally and metaphorically," as an inclusive, generous place to be.
Hannah McCarthy, a senior telecommunication major who is a part of the COMM 450 class, volunteered her time to work for the event.
“It’s really good for us as students to realize all the amazing things that Muncie has to offer outside of Ball State," McCarthy said. "It really helps us to see the ties of art and rhetoric together. It’s awesome that we get to see it come alive in person."
The We’re Trying Collective will also host a mural painting workshop on Saturday, May 6. Indianapolis artist Nathaniel Russell will be there to teach community members about proper mural painting techniques.
UPDATE 4/6/2017: According to an email sent by Kellermeyer, the fundraiser was able to raise up to $9,688 of the $10,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted online here. Kellermeyer said that she expects to reach the goal before paint day on May 6.