THE BLOG

Have You Heard About the Haring?

06/25/2015 09:53 am ET | Updated Jun 24, 2016

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Over a three-day period, 1000 CityKids from all 5 New York City Boroughs helped Keith Haring create CityKids Speak on Liberty, which exhibits the personal interpretations of what liberty meant to them.

Keith Haring, the globally renowned celebrity, artist and activist who socialized with the likes of Andy Warhol, Madonna, Yoko Ono, Roy Lichtenstein and Boy George had already been the subject of 100 solo and group exhibitions by the time he died at just 31 years of age. Perhaps only the great die young, yet true genius lives on as evidenced by Haring's enduring legacy -- his amazing contributions to art continue to flourish today in our homes, exhibitions and major museums all over the world. But, have you heard about the famous Haring artwork inspired by one of the artist's most beloved images that has just been put up for sale?

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Philip Glass and Herbi Hancock played music for the CityKids while they were painting.

Here are 12 amazing facts about the creation of Keith Haring's artwork entitled CityKids Speak on Liberty.

1. Created by Soho resident Haring in 1986, this one of a kind piece of art is often referred to as one of the most meaningful pieces in the entire Haring oeuvre.

2. The banner artwork is 30' by 90' (one of Haring's largest pieces) on 2-ply fire retardant nylon, and weighs 190 pounds.

3. Haring painted Lady Liberty to celebrate her 100th birthday.

4. Over a three-day period, 1000 CityKids from all five New York City Boroughs helped Keith Haring create CityKids Speak on Liberty, which exhibits the personal interpretations of what liberty meant to them.

5. Philip Glass, Peter Yarrow and Herbi Hancock played music for the CityKids while they were painting.

6. When Haring was drawing the banner, he made Lady Liberty's torch arm too long and it came out wobbly, which was not his original intention, but Keith and everyone loved it.

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The sale of CityKids Speak on Liberty will ensure the voices of youth continue to be heard and CityKids continues to turn "pain into purpose".

7. Yoko Ono, Matilda Cuomo and '80s boy band New Kids on the Block were among numerous celebrities who attended her debut at Liberty Tower in Battery Park City July 4, 1986.

8. Paul McCartney used CityKids Speak on Liberty as a back drop in his pre-game show at Super Bowl XXXVI.

9. CityKids Speak on Liberty has traveled to global cities including Milan and Paris.

10. CityKids President and Founder Laurie Meadoff was visiting her mother in Florida when she started her organization. She needed a corporate sponsor so she looked up corporations in the Miami yellow pages and found Burger King. She got a meeting and walked out with them on board. Pepsi followed soon after.

11. The sale of CityKids Speak on Liberty will ensure the voices of youth continue to be heard and CityKids continues to turn "pain into purpose".

12. In December 2014, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to visit CityKids and saw a performance by CityKids/IMPACT Repertory and CityKid Steven Prescod. Prince William said it was the best thing he saw in New York City.

(All photos are courtesy of The CityKids Foundation)

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C. M. Rubin

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.