On February 18, the Bloodbank project with partners New York Blood Center, the Lion’s Club of Astoria, and supported in part by No Longer Empty, concluded successfully. A donation of 20 bags of blood are needed to maintain partner NYBC’s operations and we surpassed that as 28 bags of blood were donated (which can save up to 84 lives according to the NYBC). It was many of the people we had met in the streets of Hunter’s Point and engaged with our street art campaign, who came back to donate life. They filled out a questionnaire before seeing the nurse, and learning their eligibility to give blood. Many of our participants were turned away due to their travel history, nutrient levels or health conditions.
Those eligible stretched out on beds brought in to the Avalon apartment building by the NYBC. Participants later joined us at the tables for some snacks, a chat on blood giving and viewing of video interviews presented on a big screen TV. Some then helped us in finishing the blood dot mural of participant John J. Brown, and viewed the art posters exhibited nearby.
The process from incubating the Bloodbank artwork to the street campaign and actual blood drive was a first for Artefacting; really testing how public art can be created through various authors, and consequently how that artwork can be used as a campaign of sorts. This is a project that is replicable, and a project that has produced video and artistic tools that has the potential to serve blood drives elsewhere. Its also a process that can be modified to meet other services and needs.