When I moved to Connecticut's largest city, Bridgeport, in January 2001, I soon learned that the struggling Rust Belt town had several claims to history that the locals were proud of. Storied showman P.T. Barnum had been mayor, Tom Thumb was born there and Frederick Law Olmsted had designed the beautiful Seaside Park. (Bridgeport had its share of bad memories too, being the site of the horrific L'Ambiance Plaza disaster and still struggles with a legacy of toxic pollution from its industrial past.)
Since 1871, Bridgeport was home to the Frisbie Pie Company. Yale students in nearby New Haven had amused themselves by tossing the used pie tins through the air, and when the Wham-O toy company was looking for a fresh way to market their new plastic flying discs, they adopted the name "Frisbee" as an homage.
The organizers of the recent Green Market Exposition at Bridgeport's Barnum Museum picked the iconic Frisbee "to represent the City of Bridgeport, its spirit of innovation and its long association to the local avionics and aeronautics community." Co-organizer Remy Chevalier added, "I knew Wham-O sold a recycled plastic version so I envisioned artists painting the top of Frisbees, putting them on display at the Expo and at auction to raise some money for green projects." Chevalier hooked up with Wham-O licensed manufacturer Discovering The World and Robert Araujo from nearby Sikorsky, and ended up with two large boxes of 200 Reflyer 100 Mold Frisbees, 60% post-consumer recycled polyethylene.
He is now asking artists to paint a Frisbee, to be auctioned off at the next Green Market Exposition, starting October 8th, 2010 at the Barnum Museum. Funds will go to retooling the Bridgeport area as a hub of green business and innovation. Remy also hopes to do a pre-showing of the Frisbees at City Lights Gallery on Earth Day, April 22nd.
Get painting details, and download the request form, at Greenburbs (or find local locations where you can pick up a Frisbee).
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