The 2018-19 Teen Advisory Board and teaching artist Sejin Park created Onwards, a community-based public art project installed in Rainey Park, Long Island City (LIC), Queens, in collaboration with LIC Partnership and NYC Parks and Recreation. At the start of the year, TAB assessed Isamu Noguchi’s public sculptures and discussed their qualities in being experimental, interactive, and accessible. Afterwards, they began to explore the project through their identities as young adults living in New York City, sharing their personal experiences and the levels of inequity in their lives. This motivated them to create a social justice centered project where they could prompt the LIC community to envision an inclusive future. TAB wrote three questions to ask to the public:
• Could you share a time when you helped someone who was disadvantaged?
• How have these experiences shaped your opinions about inequity in society?
• How will you confront these injustices moving forward?
Having interviewed over 100 community members in libraries, community centers, museums, and their own schools, TAB members curated twenty-six summarized stories that describe thoughts and actions towards building equity. Hung along the entire fence at Rainey Park, Onwards was celebrated with a reception following the day-long installation.