COMMUNITY TAKING CARE
Rainbow Connection Initiative
In this time of mandated social distancing and isolation, The Center for Peace, Equity and Justice wants to invite community members to reunite through a community initiative: the Quarantine Rainbow Connection. As cases of COVID-19 spread across the city, the practice of social distancing has upended our normal routines and personal interactions. Many around the world have adopted the rainbow as a perfect symbol to bridge this gap. The idea is for families to place their rainbows in windows and doorways to give a nod to their neighbors; reminding us all that after every storm there is a promise of hope at its end.
Families are finding it fun to try to spot others’ rainbows during their walks. Anna Grotzky, a Carroll Gardens resident took it one step further by creating an opportunity to map your rainbow on a public Google map. While many of today’s graphics trace the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Rainbow Connection Map traces the spreading of joy. Something we all could use a healthy dose of right about now.
Grotsky shares, “The Rainbow Connection participants are invited to add their rainbow to the map through a public Google Sheet where they are asked to enter location information. Because New York walk-ups and high-rises often make it difficult to spot a 8 x 11in paper with a rainbow on the 5th or 14th floor, participants are encouraged to use the notes section to provide clues about where to find the art, such as “first floor — under all the scaffolding” or “19th floor (bring binoculars).”
The Google Map is adorned with rainbow icons, indicating each rainbow window that has been submitted. What began as a few sparsely spread rainbows in neighborhoods across New York and New Jersey has now exploded into a multi-color cluster of rainbows quickly proliferating across the boroughs and beyond.
The idea for window rainbows originated in Italy shortly after Naples’ prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced a quarantine of 60 million people. Catholic school children across Italy began making and hanging rainbow banners that read “Andrà tutto bene,” which translates to “everything will be alright.” The effort took off in cities near and far.
Friends Seminary invites its families to craft their own rainbow. After hanging it in a street-facing window or doorway, please post a photo on Instagram and add the tags @fscpej and #fscommunitytakingcare. We’re going to aggregate photos and send our school rainbows out into the digital world as a collective message of taking care. While you’re at it add your rainbow location to the Google map. This effort is a world-wide expression of unity. Let’s take part.