The Repeal Hyde Art Project (www.repealhydeartproject.org) was founded in August 2011. Since then, it has been successfully used by community and student groups across the country to raise awareness about the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from covering abortion. The Project utilizes positive messaging and imagery; it consists of a bird template that organizers can easily print from the website designed to represent hope and optimism. Organizers can hang the birds in their community or campus and instruct people to write a reason why Hyde should be repealed on the back of each bird. The result is a participatory, eye-catching installation that serves as an educational tool. The Project has also received over 300 submissions for a travelling installation that has been shown at five conferences over the past year.
The Project is an optimistic response to Hyde. Its positivity affirms the lives and realities of those affected and challenges people to continue talking it. Most importantly, positive messaging draws people who are unfamiliar with issues like abortion access into the conversation in a non-threatening way. By constructing a visually appealing and engaging display in a public space, the Project engages and educates people about barriers to abortion access, and ultimately creates dialogue that will continue after participants leave the installation.
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