It’s time for Kingsport to ‘Rise Together’

The Model City wants you to donate a ladder — new or used, any form or size — for a community sculpture project called “Rise Together Kingsport.”

It will provide an opportunity for anyone in the community to participate, with the purpose being to create a sculpture celebrating the combined hopes and dreams that are the community of Kingsport.

“I borrowed a ladder from a neighbor many years ago,” said Charlie Brouwer, the artist behind the project. “I needed it to get things done around my house. From borrowing that ladder, a relationship was built.”

The Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts is asking individuals, families, organizations, schools, churches and businesses to lend ladders, which will be connected together in a monumental sculpture towering in front of the Renaissance Center and spilling across its lawn to Center Street.

The ladders can be real extension and stepladders or any form or size — including handmade ladders from any material. The ladders can be as creative or expressive or as plain as the owners want them to be.

All ladders will be registered and tagged, and lenders will be recognized on the list of lenders posted on the Rise Together Kingsport website and on a sign at the sculpture. The owner of a ladder may even choose to have the name of the lender be someone they wish to honor or remember.

Ladders are being accepted from now until Oct. 14 and can be dropped off at the Renaissance Center during designated times. Ladders can be picked up if you do not have a way of transporting them.

The drop-off times are Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Oct. 1 and Oct. 8 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 9-13 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The temporary sculpture will be completed on Oct. 14 and will remain on exhibit until Nov. 13, when it will be dismantled and all ladders returned to their owners. For those who do not want their ladder back, they will be donated to Holston Habitat for Humanity.

Brouwer hails from Willis, Va., and has been making art since 1968. He has led similar projects in 13 other U.S. communities from Allentown, Pa., to St. Louis, Mo.

For more information, visit risetogetherkingsport.org. To arrange for your ladder to be picked up, call (423) 392-8414.