Sculpture celebrating Kalamazoo Promise to be unveiled

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KALAMAZOO—Artist and Western Michigan University art instructor Paul Flickinger has created a sculpture that captures the spirit of the Kalamazoo Promise. It will be unveiled during an event from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Multicultural Center in the Trimpe Building on the west side of main campus.

The piece, titled "Kalamazoo Promise: Who Benefits," is a collection of upraised hands. It has literal ties to the Promise and its legacy, as the arms depicted in the sculpture were molds made from the arms of several scholarship recipients who studied or are studying at WMU.

"First of all, I'm just crazy about the Promise," says Flickinger, explaining what inspired him to create this piece.

Rather than solely expressing his sentiments in words, "I decided to celebrate it 3-dimensionally. It's kind of how artists respond to the world," he says.

Flickinger's art piece is also his take on a billboard that promoted the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship that covers up to 100 percent of college tuition and fees for graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools. Recipients can use this scholarship at Michigan public universities and colleges.

Sunday's program is also intended to celebrate the work of Patricia Williams who, for the past five years, has served as the coordinator for academic support for Kalamazoo Promise recipients at WMU. Williams is relocating to California to be closer to family.

For more information, contact Paula Davis in WMU's Office of University Relations at (269) 387-8411.