This year we had the privilege to work on a contract for the Endangered Species Coalition to design a project for them called, The Missing Species Reports, as a way of amplifying the information in their report Vanishing: Ten American Species Our Children May Never See. The project design consists of two artistic components: Missing Species Reports and Missing Species Posters.
The Missing Species Reports are modeled on missing person reports. Participants are asked to complete a report for one (or more) of the ten species. The questions posed on each Missing Species Report require a deep contemplation of the intrinsic value of the animal, fish or plant. Furthermore, participants are asked to consider their personal feelings towards each species as well as what the loss of this species might mean on a global level. In addition we are recommending that educators plan a field trip with their class to file the reports with their local Fish and Wildlife office, which makes for both fantastic media and advocacy opportunities.
The second component of the project is a grassroots organized-guerrilla art campaign. We created a series of Missing Species Posters templates (that resemble missing pet posters) that can be customized by students and other participants (including the bottom of the flyer where participants can create tear off additions for the posters that include the phone number for their Congressperson and/or Representative). This lets participants create their own public awareness campaign. People choose a day where they hang these posters around their neighborhood (on telephone poles and lampposts, on bulletin boards and in other communal locations), creating an artistic installation and concentrated public awareness campaign that will generate local press on this initiative and the issue. Students can hang their original artwork, make copies of their originals and/or supplement the original work with pre-designed posters.
We are providing the curriculum here but we recommend you also visit endangered.org to see their additional resources.
Questions about the project should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org