[media-credit name=’BRYAN FAUST/Herald Photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′][/media-credit]With more than 20,000 people expected to gather on Mifflin Street this Saturday for the annual block party, two University of Wisconsin students are hoping each one will "pitch in" for an art project.
However, this is not your typical macaroni-and-paste picture.
UW seniors Katherine Ball and Jeff Bell, two classmates in a collaborative sculpture class, are planning a self-described "activism art" project — setting a recycling bin and trashcan in front of every house on Mifflin Street in an effort to keep the street clean during and after the annual party.
"We're not thinking of creating an object or sculpture," Ball said of her and Bell's project. "We're trying to get people together to create a movement."
The two presented their idea to Mifflin Street residents and city officials during a meeting Monday, addressing issues and concerns regarding the annual block party.
"Everyone seemed quite happy with it," Bell said. "From what we've seen so far, they're all for it."
According to Ball, the two students will begin setting up recycling bins and trashcans Friday night, on the eve of the block party. They will also post signs along the street asking students to recycle and directing revelers to recycling bins.
Throughout the party, Bell said he and Ball would collect the many cans and plastic bottles they hope partygoers will recycle into their bins. The two students said they are getting support from the Madison's Westside Service Center, which will provide large carts for them to gather the recyclable materials they collect.
Both Bell and Ball emphasized that Mifflin residents will "not have to do anything," as the recycling effort will be done by Bell, Ball and a few friends who volunteered to help.
"We told [Mifflin residents], 'we want to get people to recycle, you won't have to do any work,'" Ball said. "It's not going to be a problem for them."
Ball added that the bins would be "zip-lined" to house porches to prevent unruly partygoers from dumping them onto the street.
And Ball said she hopes just the sight of the recycling bins would influence those who otherwise would not recycle to pitch in.
"People can still have a good time, relax and do something positive for the environment," Ball said. "You can do things that can benefit people and the environment and it doesn't have to consume your life."
Ball added she hopes this year's recycling project would lead to partygoers participating in larger community projects during future block parties, such as raising money for charity.
"Go there and have a good time — drink beer and smoke pot and have fun — but also benefit other people," Ball said. "When 20,000 people are on a street together, you can do a lot."