PINWHEELS FOR PEACE
September 21, 2013
In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, 2013, Milwaukee Math & Science Academy, managed by Concept Schools, of Milwaukee, WI took part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at Gordon Park.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 8), 2012, over 4 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, Milwaukee Math & Science Academy, managed by Concept Schools, has coordinated the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.
This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”
Milwaukee Math & Science Academy, managed by Concept Schools, created pinwheels, pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the students wrote their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they drew to visually express their feelings. The students assembled these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace. They “planted” their pinwheels at Gordon Park as a public statement and art exhibit/installation pinwheels – the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world!