The Dave Project was born out of To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Potter. In To Speculate Darkly, an installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum, contemporary-Chicago artist Theaster Gates celebrated the legacy of Dave the Potter, an African-American slave who made pots on a plantation in ante-bellum South Carolina. Dave’s pot, a 40-gallon storage vessel placed in the center of the installation, proved unexpectedly captivating. Visitors of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds were fascinated by Dave’s story, his skills as a potter, and the ambiguous couplet he inscribed under the lip of the vessel: “When you fill this jar with Pork or Beef/ Scot will be there to get a peace” The Dave Project takes Dave's story on the road. In collaboration with Chicago poet, Orron Kenyetta, clay expert Jeremy Stepien, and the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Chipstone Foundation developed a 2 hour program that we brought to different communities around the city. The Dave Project explored the meaning of Dave's poetry, short couplets composed of around 15 words, ultimately asking of its participants: If you had 15 words that would last forever, what would you say?