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I think it is important for all of us to participate in the world, in some way, like any cis-gender heterosexual people do. Trans people generally have a bad reputation in the world at large. We are thought of as being unreliable, unstable, etc. etc. To be seen doing the things that anyone else can do makes a strong case for acceptance and respect. So, I’ll talk a bit about what I have been doing lately.
At the end of this past June, I completed a 3 year term on the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission, with the 2nd and 3rd years as Chair. When I joined, I never thought that my background in project management and scheduling would come into play.
After a number of years of study, design work and getting funding, the City finally was able to build a bridge over what was usually a dry wash. However, anything approaching a heavy rain would create a broad and very fast moving stream with water as deep as 4 to 5 feet over the street. Often someone would try to drive through the water and have to be rescued by police and fire personnel. City Council asked the Public Arts Commission to have art work created that would honor a late citizen, Mrs. Ofelia Bringas. She was a noted advocate for young people. She had worked for the local 4H group and was the founding Executive Director for the Cathedral City Boys and Girls Club. Many adults in the area credit her with keeping them out of trouble and out of jail. Unfortunately I never got to meet her as she passed away a few years before we moved here.
We had 5 local artists (all women) prepare proposals that captured some facet of Mrs. Bringas’ life. Of the 5 artists, 3 were middle aged and had been professionals for many years. The 4th was a young woman in her mid-20’s whose career had spanned about 7 years at that time and the 5th was a high school student. We were all VERY impressed by their proposals. The 3 veteran artists did (4) 3ft x 3ft paintings. The younger ones did (2) each. The family commissioned an artist to do a portrait of Mrs. Bringas and that was the last piece of work.
We found a vendor in Colorado that could make decals from high resolution photos of the art work (300dpi x 300dpi), apply them to ceramic tiles and fire them at 2000F for permanence. The final step was getting the murals installed on the bridge. In thinking about all of these steps (aka, Moving Parts!), it came to me that the only way to make sense of it was to create a Gantt Chart as a tool to help understand the various problems and opportunities with scheduling. So, I bought a shareware program called GanttProject and we were off and running!
In short order the Gantt Chart helped me sort out a way of scheduling the artists, getting the hi-res photos taken, getting the images to the tile vendor and then getting the finished tiles installed on the bridge. It blew me away that something that was very helpful and known to me, came as such a surprise to others. So, while the Gantt Chart was a great help in evaluating schedule variations, it also meant that it put a stake in the ground regarding what was supposed to happen and when. But, there’s no pressure!
Anyway, we did get everything done and installed in time for the October 6, 2022 dedication ceremony.
The murals that are installed on the bridge are here:
The trapezoidal shape is due to the fact that I was unwilling to take the photos while standing out in the street.
I can’t remember exactly, but at somewhere around $60,000 it is the 2nd most expensive Public Arts Project in the city.
Last week, I was given this recognition:
With our City Council members, but the Mayor was out of town:
I decided not to do a 2nd term on the Public Arts Commission as I wanted to to some different things. So, last June I was accepted into the Docent training class at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Last week I was presented with a certificate stating that I had completing all of my training. I asked to be assigned to the F-117 Stealth Fighter hangar, so that is where I am on Friday mornings.
As far as I know, I’m the only Trans person out of a little over 300 volunteers.
Lastly, the Palm Springs Air Museum is rated #14 in the world, #5 in the US and #1 in California!
Be There Or Be Square!
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