CANtribute: A Different Type of Giving
Building community and giving back to the communities it serves has become a cornerstone and philosophy synonymous with Parkhill, Smith & Cooper. And the annual CANtribute Project in Midland is a perfect example of this. What begins as a design-based project that allows professionals to work with local high school students, ends with 20,000 cans being CAN-structed into art that are donated to help feed more than 16,000 people in West Texas.
PSC, Cooper Construction and the West Texas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects once again joined up with Midland High School STE(A)M students and the West Texas Food Bank for this year’s CANtribute at the Midland Park Mall this past April. The 24 STE(A)M students (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) have worked over the last few months through a project plan and designs to help come up with five pieces of art built with donated cans. PSC, Cooper Construction and AIA helped raise the money to purchase the 20,000 cans that were used in the project and donated to WTFB.
PSC has donated $5,000 each of the last three years to WTFB as part of its Building Community Initiative to help fund projects for local non-profit and donor-based programs around each of its nine offices in Texas and New Mexico. WTFB is a is a nonprofit, non-governmental hunger relief organization that distributes donated and purchased food through a network of over 80 Partner Agencies in 19 counties throughout West Texas.
“It’s always fun to be a part of CANtribute each year,” said Libby Campbell, CEO of West Texas Food Bank. “It’s a true project that brings together Midland and Odessa, it brings together architecture with feeding the hungry, and brings together different business partners from around the area that want to help out and support our community.”
The original CANtribute project began eight years ago with the idea from PSC to build a can structure art piece in the lobby of its downtown office to help raise awareness for the need for food donations around the area. That grew into another lobby project and then expanded into the current community plan that gets Midland High School students, teachers and other businesses involved.
The process begins months in advance as students work with PSC’s professionals to design the structures in a 3D AUTOCAD program and then come up with a design process and project plan to build the five structures in around five hours. The theme has changed year-to-year with this year’s being automotive. Students designed five pieces including a Jeep, truck, Delorian and even a helicopter tank that stretches the imagination.
“We give them the project parameters and what the end goal is,” said RJ Lopez, AIA, an architect with PSC. “So there’s a lot of planning. You have 20,000 cans and you have to get this done in five hours. Kind of like having $27 million to build a school and it needs to get done in a year. And so it helps them understand that whole process like we have to go through with any client.”
The can structures were on display for two weeks at the Midland Park Mall and then taken apart and donated to West Texas Food Bank this past Friday along with any other cans donated at the mall while the art was on display.
To learn more about how Midland/Odessa residents can help West Texas Food Bank go to organization’s website HERE or call (432) 580-6333.