IDEAS For Us | January 8, 2015

IDEAS Uses “Project ReThink” to Advance Environmental Awareness with Art


What is “Project ReThink”?

“Project ReThink” is a sustainable art model that seeks to raise awareness about our environmental impacts through creative street art mediums with a goal of changing people’s behaviors and rethinking their impacts on the environment.

Over the last year, this initiative has become a long-term, on-going project for IDEAS leaders in Central Florida that has employed live music, art installations, LED light messages, and sustainable graffiti** in order to advance environmental awareness.

(**Sustainable graffiti, unlike traditional graffiti that uses volatile chemicals and petroleum-based paints [not to mention permanently vandalizes property], the sustainable graffiti method showcases environmental messages by pressure washing a stencil on dirty roads, sidewalks, and walls with water. By pressure washing these dirty areas around the city, we literally are cleaning the dirty surfaces, and revealing our message to the public. This project is non-toxic, temporary, and uses no chemicals in the entire process.)

10176145_10154046719485623_7057459592762471057_nApril 2014: Chris Castro accepts Awesome Foundation grant from Terry Olsen for Project ReThink

The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe. Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons. The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest.

May 2014: Chris Castro and Clayton Ferrara present the concept of Project ReThink’s reverse graffiti to the Orlando Soup audience and subsequently win $800 for the initiative.

Orlando SOUP is a micro-granting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Orlando. For a donation of $7, attendees receive soup (made by Slow Food Orlando using fresh, local ingredients), salad and bread. Before dinner is served, attendees will listen to four short community project proposals covering a range of topics such as art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurship, education, technology, and more. During dinner, attendees cast a vote for their favorite project and, at the end of the night, the project that receives the most votes is funded by $5 from each attendees’ donation.


June 2014: The Hive Orlando conceives environmental messages for Project ReThink.

After successfully securing funding from the Awesome Foundation and Orlando SOUP, Project ReThink entered the Hive Orlando, where participants discussed logistic of the project, including narrowing down the right images and messages, picking specific areas of town that reverse graffiti will best engage the community, and listing what materials are needed, among other things.

Below is a clip of the meeting where Ricardo Williams introduces the “Solution Showcase” portion of the evening and Kelly Erhart and Callye Foster present some of their ideas.

July 2014: The Hive Orlando continued their discussion on Project ReThink.

In this clip below, it was announced that the slogan “Turn Down For Watt” (an idea conceived at the previous Hive) would be used for our reverse graffiti.

August 2014: IDEAS For Us teamed up with ShineShed and Body//Talk to launch music and arts show at the Peacock Room.

rsz_20141222_212951~3December 2014: Clayton Ferrara, Karine Guilbert, Sharon Hammond, and Jeff Trapani complete the first phase of reverse graffiti, putting the message “Turn Down for Watt” on a dirty wall in Downtown Orlando.

They plan to initiate the second phase of reverse graffiti in January 2015 with the message, “Burn Fat, Not Oil”

If you would like to participant in this project, email us at [email protected]


UPDATED January 12, 2015: Click here to listen to this NPR interview with Chris Castro and Ricardo Williams as they discuss Project ReThink.

UPDATED January 26, 2015: Click here to view photographs on Facebook of the most recent phase of reverse graffiti, featuring the message “Burn Fat, Not Oil”.