Earlier this year, Sculpture Tour Eau Claire executive director Michelle Koehn saw a news story about the city updating its parking, and now she has kids creating sculptures from old parking meters.

Soft SkillsAt DeLong Middle School, eleven students looked over the old meters, looking at the dents, scratches and signs of use.  Now with some creativity, the old meters will become a part of the downtown sculpture tour of Eau Claire.

“Really, the campaign is about community awareness of public arts and engaging youth in a real way,” Koehn said of the project. “ … It’s one thing to teach kids about art, but it’s a whole other level to ask them to engage in it and be part of a public arts program.”

The project was funded by the Eau Claire Community Foundation, for a campaign titled Be Part of the Change.  If the meters retain the ability to collect coins as part of a sculpture, any money deposited will go toward the campaign.

No matter what the meters eventually become, teacher Ann Oberding said the project is an opportunity for her students to expand their art abilities. “When you give them that opportunity to be creative and use materials that they probably would never get a chance to work with … all kinds of opportunities open up for them to learn a new craft or skill,” she said.

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