Danny McDonald

Photography and more

Swings Tampa Bay

Two of my friends started up an organization in St. Petersburg, Florida called Swings Tampa Bay. Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne carried out the idea to a pitch contest hosted by Creative Tampa Bay and Creative Loafing called 10/100/1000. The idea originated from a interactive art project Hunter did for his class at The University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Winning the contest provided Reuben and Hunter $1,000 to make Swings an organization that can make an immediate impact on the community.

The concept of Swings is revolved around creating spontaneous community building by hanging up Swings anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. The power of the Swing becomes magnetic and can attract people to meet each other. The organization first started out by going out and buying pieces of wood and then cutting them up. Swings always tries to involve the community in any way possible. So the first couple of months Swings would go to community events and have free “Lets Paint Swings” events that will allow anyone in the community to go and paint whatever they want for a swing that will be hung up in the community. After each person painted up their swing, they got their picture taken and will be added on Swing’s facebook page.

After collecting a mass amount of painted swings, Reuben and Hunter will go out throughout the night and hang up the Swings in the community. So far Swings has collected over 1,000 painted swings and have hung up over 100. Some Swings will be taken down while others will up for a period of time. When one walks by one of these swings, it is the feeling of youth and connection to a community one will experience.

Swings has started to take interest out of state and even international. Swings Holland took off after contacting Reuben and Hunter and arranging everything to become an expansion. Swings Holland have been doing the same process of painting their swings and hanging them up in random places all over Holland and now throughout Europe. The magnetic power of Swings has expanded out and will continue to do so, one swing at a time.

I have a good database of different ‘Lets Paint Swings’ events since I would try to go out to as many of them as possible. It is pretty easy to get creative shots at these events because of the amount of art and colors that were used. I enjoyed taking all of these shots and plan to keep helping out Swings as much as possible.

'Lets Paint Swings' at the Saturday Morning Market in Downtown St. Petersburg.

Swings being painted by members of the community.

 

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3 thoughts on “Swings Tampa Bay

  1. Dear Danny,

    What a great article. I read it twice. It was interesting, informative and extremely well-written. Here is a story that involves local citizens getting involved locally and I can’t get enough of those types of stories. This blog post in particular is the type of quasi-journalism I would enjoy reading from a blogger.
    The pictures are also fantastic and really add some thing to the post. I’ve seen other people for this class post picture to less effect. Overall, a terrific example of individual journalism in a blog format.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. I had heard about swings sometime ago, so it was interesting to read what happened to it and where its going. Its a very cool project and I’m glad it caught on. I love community engaging projects!

  3. In The Now Sports on said:

    It’s really neat to read a story that is involving people I know. When I first read it, it seemed like I was reading a newspaper article. It very well could have been, but who knows maybe this news will make it there. It was really well written Danny, nice job. The photographs definitely added to the setting you were describing. Photojournalism may be your best talent!

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