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The 1000 Birds Project is one way we can all help in bringing Dr. King's vision of the Beloved Community to life. At after-school programs, drop-in centers, nursing homes, outreach events, and UP's ceramics studio, hundreds of people have come together to create a flock of more than 1,000 unique birds.
Union Project invites people to make a bird out of clay. To accompany their bird, participants are encouraged to write a brief message expressing their hopes for their community. That bird is left to be fired at Union Project, and the participant can bring home another completed bird of their choosing, with a message from a different member of the community. In this way, messages of hope are created and passed among individuals. Union Project uses the arts to bridge gaps between communities.
The 1000 Birds Project grew out of the Many Hands project created during our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration in 2011. People came together to create birds and then local artist, Kristi Jan Hoover, lovingly photographed the hands of community artists holding their birds. A photo-mosaic of participants' hands holding their winged creations serves as a beautiful image of the community's diversity and documentation of the project.