Expanding Community Dialogue about the Carr Lake Project through Art

is a Partnership between Big Sur Land Trust, the Rights and Opportunities Foundation, and artists Juan Carlos Gonzalez (Urban Arts Collaborative), Jose Ortiz (Hijos del Sol), and Enid Ryce (CSU-Monterey Bay), along with local assistants and youth interns, to create an art installation in support of the development of a community park at Carr Lake. The purpose of this Partnership is to leverage art and the creative process behind artmaking to dialogue with the local community about the ecologies, histories, cultures, and inequities related to Carr Lake- and to expose the social justice opportunities inherent in the Carr Lake Project.
The guiding document for this Partnership is “Convergence : A Story of People, Place and Opportunity at Carr Lake” by Peter Forbes (August, 2018). Big Sur Land Trust proposes that the Rights and Opportunities Foundation participate through dialogue, sharing expertise, and financial support.
The envisioned Project is an installation in the centrally-located Salinas Center for Art and Culture, consisting of a collaboratively-created centerpiece mural, community contributions (art, photos, similar), bilingual science interpretation elements, and resident engagement activities that echo Carr Lake and the themes described above. These Project components are intended to enhance each other synergistically and provoke a heart response among residents to the Carr Lake Project, sparking reactions and conversations that ultimately drive project outcomes through the incorporation of the audience’s voices into the Park design process. The nature of an exhibition setting for the work produced during this Project gives the Project partners the chance to engage with a greater spectrum of residents about how the Carr Lake Project can be further refined to achieve community goals in addition to conservation outcomes. In this way, the community’s vision for the 73-acre site Carr Lake is honored and manifested in the design plans for a culturally­ relevant park space that magnifies local people’ s hopes, stories, and identities. This Project also generates community support of the project necessary for Big Sur Land Trust to complete environmental permitting prior to park construction, which is key to implementing the Carr Lake Project overall.
Framing questions for this Project include: What would it mean for the communities around Carr Lake to be less siloed and more unified? What does the convergence of cultures look like at Carr Lake? How do the various historical timelines of Carr Lake play into the landscape and residents’ way of life? If people and nature were in harmony at Carr Lake, how would this change the community? The creative inquiry and artmaking processes will be documented, as well as the final resulting mural. Progress updates will be submitted throughout the process.