What is The Fargo Project?
Over the past several decades, the City of Fargo has been installing large drainage basins in order to respond to flooding from summer rainfall events. These drainage facilities are scattered throughout the city (view retention pond map). While the basic infrastructure need is satisfied, an opportunity to enrich the community and these sites through culture, art, and a sense of social connectivity still remains unspoken for. Based on a relationship established with ecological artist Jackie Brookner and the City of Fargo, a new project defined through community participation will explore these opportunities.
The Fargo Project is about spearheading a public engagement and design process to redefine these basins into community commons, reflecting the internal life and cultural vibrancy of the Fargo community. This process will begin with a single pilot project developed under the care of ecological artist Jackie Brookner, along with local artists. They will work together with one of the affected neighborhoods to re-think how they should use their community space. The strategies developed and lessons learned from this first project will be developed into a communication and design model to be used for future developments within Fargo.
The Fargo Project provides an opportunity to respond to community needs through a participatory public art process. With water as the vehicle for connecting people to spaces, the entire process is intended to activate a collective creative agency. One neighborhood will lead the way by designing and implementing a plan to transform the space. Working with a team of artists and specialists in engineering, landscape architecture, and ecology, the neighborhood will develop the process while completing the transformation.