From time to time, Parkway Central hosts exhibits in its grand lobby. The latest, a collection of children’s artwork, is called The Dream Flag Project. Started as an English assignment at the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pa. in the spring of 2003, a sixth grade class studying the dream poems of Langston Hughes and inspired by Nepalese prayer flags, wrote their own poems and designed templates for them on cloth.
The assignment was so loved that the next year, teachers invited other schools in the area to join in, and thousands of flags were created, strung together in rows, and displayed at the Kimmel Center, giving birth to The Dream Flag Project. Each year, the scope of the project grows, now reaching as far as Africa and South America with more than 50,000 students having participated. The Library’s exhibit includes flags in Spanish from Nicaragua as well as ones from LEAP students at our own Durham branch.
The more than 350 flags, hung in rows of five or six, reach from ceiling to floor along the walls of Central’s lobby and range in “dreams” from meeting Justin Bieber to fantasies of flying to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Some students chose a free verse style of poetry, while others mastered rhyme and meter. Puffy paint, tie dye, collage, watercolor: every medium you can imagine graces the flags. Come by and take a look – it’s hard not to feel joyful sharing the dreams of children from around the world.