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Innovative alumnus named to list of global change makers

April 25, 2014

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Good Magazine—a quarterly publication focused on global citizenry—has named Hunter Franks B.A. ’08 to its annual list of 100 individuals who employ creativity and innovation to drive the world forward.

As a result of his efforts to build community with participatory art, Franks was deemed the Good 100’s “Neighborhood Impresario.” He established the San Francisco Postcard Project—the start of a now-worldwide initiative—after walking from California to New Mexico and realizing the power of connection between people of different backgrounds.

“When we don’t talk to each other, we are left to rely on how people look and what we’ve heard about them to form our opinion,” Franks said. “Stereotypes arise and lead to fear of other people. We need to stop this cycle.”

The project provided a platform for residents of marginalized San Francisco neighborhoods to replace negative stereotypes with positive anecdotes. Frank staged gatherings in public spaces, where passersby could fill the backs of “Greetings from [insert neighborhood here]” postcards (designed by Franks) with uplifting words or images. He subsequently sent the postcards to nearby strangers, building a physical network of meaningful exchange.

The San Francisco Postcard Program quickly evolved into the global Neighborhood Postcard Project, with participatory gatherings being held in New York City, Washington, D.C., south Florida, and Chile.

In February 2014, Franks founded the League of Creative Interventionists—a global network of people who alter public spaces as a means of facilitating unlikely interaction, all in accordance with a monthly theme. Chapters have since been established in Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Macon, Georgia; and Cologne, Germany.

“It is a great honor to be named to Good Magazine’s Good 100 for 2014,” Franks said. “This amazing group of creative change makers help push the world forward, and I am proud and excited to be among such company.”

Katrina Staaf ’16 contributed to this story.

Hunter Franks’ Website