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Wanted: Wilsonville's unsung heroes

Eighth-graders seek public input on the people whose efforts make Wilsonville great


Unsung heroes of Wilsonville, prepare to be recognized. Two eighth-graders at Inza R. Wood Middle School are taking part in a global art project called Inside Out, and they are looking for you.

The brainchild of a French street artist known as JR, Inside Out is designed to let people around the world tell the story of their community and their values. For Madison Tiderman and Dale Cummings, the true story of their city is in the everyday acts of kindness that take place here.

“We want to recognize those who do remarkable things in our community and who don’t get a lot of recognition,” Madison and Dale said in a written statement. “There are many people in Wilsonville who devote their time to helping others, and we think that these people deserve to be recognized.”

They are participating in Inside Out as a project for their yearlong art class at Wood. Right now, the girls are soliciting nominations for the unsung heroes among us. After the nomination period ends March 1, the girls will read all the submissions and select 10 to 15 heroes to highlight.

Each hero will be photographed by student photographer Katelyn Marelich. The girls will print the photos and display them — hopefully — in a number of ways around the city.

First, the photos will be uploaded to the Inside Out website, officially becoming part of the global art project that has been running since 2011 and has drawn more than 120,000 participants from more than 108 countries.

After that, the girls hope to print large poster-sized copies of the photos that can be moved and displayed around the city. If they can find space, they may exhibit smaller copies, perhaps with written information about the person pictured and some information about the project itself.

“We’ll need to find places to put the art,” Dale said.

The pair also hope to display large prints of their photographs on a highly visible site, like the back side of a store or another building that abuts the highway in Wilsonville.

“Hopefully, by creating awareness and getting the project going, maybe we’ll get some leads,” said Jennifer Cerasin-Morgan, Wood Middle School art teacher.

Although there are few rules for those who wish to participate in Inside Out, there are some guidelines. The most important is to show only the faces of subjects, with no logos or pets included.

“They want the photos to show emotion and show what kind of person you are,” Madison said.

The girls considered different topics as they planned their project: homelessness, the meaning of marriage, misunderstood teens. They settled on unsung community heroes for a simple reason.

“We wanted a positive message,” Dale said.

“We have these people who do things in our community,” Madison said. “These people aren’t always thanked or given recognition.”

“Without them our community would be less great,” Dale said.

They hope to highlight the often unseen acts of kindness — big and small, planned or spontaneous — that make the community of Wilsonville special. Drawing attention to those acts could inspire others to make similar efforts.

“Everyone can do this,” Dale said. “It’s not a big commitment like running for mayor.”

“We want to add to the kindness that’s already there,” Madison said. “We want to put Wilsonville on the map as an awesome city.”

“And, by pointing it out, hopefully keep it going,” Madison said. “We’re just hoping to have a lot of people nominated.”

You can nominate unsung heroes in three ways. Visit the project’s Facebook page at facebook.com/mdtc.insideout, stop by the school at 11055 SW Wilsonville Road or email Cerasin-Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Each nomination should include the name of the person you are nominating, a few sentences describing what the person did to earn your nomination and your name and contact information. You also should include contact information for the person you are nominating.

After that, the rest is up to Madison and Dale and the adults, like Cerasin-Morgan, who are supporting them.

“We can take these nominations and find the everyday heroes and recognize them,” Madison said.

Learn about Inside Out on the web at insideoutproject.net.




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