Children and their families soon will have access to interactive musical sculptures in Larson Park, thanks to a partnership between the Rotary Club of Brookings the City of Brookings Public Arts Commission, and the Brookings Arts Council.
The handicapped-accessible musical sculptures will allow children to experience music, outdoor play and creative interaction with their caregivers. Numerous studies, including one published in 2016 by the University of Southern California, touts the benefits that music and the arts provide for children. According to the study, “Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and mind work together.” However, many children don’t always have ample opportunities to explore music and art. This project, located in a free public park, will help fill that gap.
Installation of the equipment from the supplier “Harmony Park” will begin next summer.
The musical sculptures will add to other recent enhancements to Larson Park completed by the city, including a new handicapped-accessible playground and a renovated disc golf course. Landscape improvement and maintenance on an existing art sculpture at the park entrance also are scheduled.
Both the Public Arts Commission and Rotary are contributing $10,000 to the project. Local Rotary funding of $5,000 was matched by a District 5610 grant.
"Brookings is the only municipality in South Dakota with a dedicated public arts fund," said Public Arts Commission Chair Darla Biel, "and its purpose is to enhance the built environment and public spaces in our community. This joint project is a perfect example of a public-private partnership that leverages funding for greater impact for both Brookings residents and visitors. We are grateful for Rotary's partnership!"
The Brookings Arts Council is excited to collaborate with the Public Arts Commission and the Rotary club to help further the mission of the Arts Council to make Art accessible to all. Outdoor musical playgrounds enhance public spaces and become socially interactive sound sculptures that have the power to capture the imagination. The BAC is thrilled that Brookings is adding this type of playground that encourages creative self-expression and an active participation in life.
Rotary Club President Don Norton noted the benefits of such collaborations. “This is a great opportunity for our Club to partner with another organization that also is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the residents of Brookings,” said Norton. Earlier this year, the Brookings Rotary Club partnered with Brookings Area United Way to provide the Born Learning Trails for children in Hillcrest and McClemans Parks. “We appreciate the funding pledge from the Brookings Public Arts Commission to help make this musical sculpture project a reality.”
The Brookings Rotary Club is part of Rotary International, a 115-year-old service organization with 35,000 clubs and more than 1.2 million members around the globe. The local club, celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, meets at 12 p.m. each Tuesday, currently via Zoom, and guests and prospective members are welcome. For more information contact President Don Norton, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press release presented on behalf of the Brookings Rotary Club an The Brookings Public Arts Commission