Alfred University News

Art Force 5 launches fundraiser to support project in Miami honoring women’s rights icon

As part of its months-long initiative honoring important figures in the women’s rights movement, Alfred University’s Art Force 5 plans a trip to Miami, FL. As part of Super Bowl festivities in Miami, Art Force 5 will host a community art project honoring Florida’s iconic Mary McLeod Bethune.


ALFRED, NY – As part of its months-long initiative honoring important figures in the women’s rights movement, Alfred University’s Art Force 5 plans a trip to Miami, FL, where the group will host a community art project honoring Florida’s iconic Mary McLeod Bethune.

Art Force 5 is a program that uses community-based art to inspire discussion on topics of equality and social justice. To honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, members of the group visited five National Football League stadiums this past fall, engaging with fans to paint tiles used to create mosaic artwork in honor of women’s empowerment icons associated with the NFL cities.

A sixth mosaic was created during a two-day residency Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 15-16, at Keene Central School in the Adirondack community of Keene Valley, NY, and a seventh will be completed on Martin Luther King Day – Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 – when the mosaics will be displayed as part of the one-day exhibition at Strong National Museum of Play. The exhibition is part of the museum’s Day of Compassion celebration honoring King’s legacy as a civil rights leader.

The eighth mosaic honors McLeod Bethune, an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist. She is best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, FL, which later merged with a private institute for African-American boys to create Bethune-Cookman College (now Bethune-Cookman University). She founded the National Council of Negro Women and was co-founder of the United Negro College Fund.

Art Force 5 has created a GoFundMe page to raise money to support the group’s trip in late January-early February to Miami, which is hosting the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Donations to the fund are being supported by a matching gift made recently to Art Force 5.  

Art Force 5 kicked off its NFL stadium project at Buffalo Bills Training Camp in July. The group engaged fans in painting tiles to create a mosaic of women’s rights icon Susan B. Anthony. Throughout the 2019 NFL season, a rotating team of students from the Art Force 5 infused themselves into the football stadium tailgate culture to discuss issues not often found alongside beer and barbecue. After the event at the Bills Training Camp, similar projects followed throughout the fall: at the Pittsburgh Steelers stadium (honoring Nellie Bly), at the Cleveland Browns stadium (Dorothy Dandridge), at the Baltimore Ravens stadium (Harriet Tubman); and at the New York Jets stadium (Shirley Chisholm).

This week’s Art Force 5 event was held at Keene Central School, where Bob Woughter, husband of former longtime Alfred University Vice President of Student Affairs Kathy Woughter, is principal. During the event, the Art Force 5 engaged community members in a project to paint tiles for a mosaic of Inez Milholland, a suffragist, labor lawyer, socialist, World War I correspondent, and public speaker who greatly influenced the women's movement in America. The seventh mosaic, honoring Coretta Scott King, will be painted on Jan. 20 at the Strong Museum of Play and will round out the exhibition there.

Art Force 5 activities honoring female empowerment icons will continue up to the actual Aug. 18 100th anniversary date of the ratification of 19th Amendment. The group will visit numerous other sites across the country, creating tributes to renowned women’s rights advocates that will make up what promises to be a powerful display.

Founded in 2006 at Alfred University, the Art Force 5 has received national recognition for their unique diversity training and their interactive community-based art and has a proven record of engaging communities through creativity. For more information, email artforce5@alfred.edu or visit www.artforce5.com.