The team of Jackie Brookner and Susan Steinman was awarded the 2002 Art and Community Landscapes commission to be Artists-in-Residence with the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program in the Northwest region. Art and Community Landscapes was a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Park Service and the New England Foundation for the Arts that supported site-based public art as a catalyst for action at the community level.
In 2002-3 they worked in Caldwell, ID, Tillamook, OR and Puyallup, WA, providing consultation and preliminary planning, and building community support for each town’s waterway project. With extensive outreach across stakeholder and community groups, they built many new partnerships, created local public art initiatives, started now annual river and trail festivals, and helped design conceptual plans for river daylighting, stream restoration and trails.
In Caldwell, ID Brookner and Steinman worked with community members, stakeholders and the National Park Service team to create support for daylighting Indian Creek. Restoring a 900 foot stretch of Indian Creek that flows under Caldwell’s business district was the focal point of downtown revitalization. Uncovering the Creek, capped and piped since the 1950’s, has provided recreational, educational, and environmental opportunities, helped spur economic vitality and create a healthier community. Brookner and Steinman worked closely with local artists Ignacio Ramos and Juan Martinez, Caldwell Fine Arts and the Hispanic Cultural Center to create Caldwell’s first public art, a tile mural and steel sculpture both celebrate the life of Indian Creek. We also worked with many other groups to initiate and plan the first annual Indian Creek Festival.