The “Engaging Communities” Mural Project was launched in 2006, as The Art Connection partnered with artist Tova Speter and the New England Foundation for the Arts to offer a unique community-based mural program for local non-profit agencies.
Funded in part by a grant from the Fund for the Arts, a restricted fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts, three murals were created in 2006 throughout the Boston area with the following partners: Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County, Roxbury Youthworks, Inc – Female Focus Initiative, and Newton Community Service Center.
The Art Connection was awarded funding from NEFA for the design of three more mural projects to take place in 2009-2010. We partnered with local youth to create a design for a new mural in Malden Center, with clients at Casa Esperanza to design a new mural in Roxbury, and with the homeless guests at St. Francis House to design a panelled mural for display at Downtown Crossing.
In 2009 we also collaborated with the Tomfohrde Foundation, who generously funded a mural project with the patients and staff of the Shattuck Hospital.
In 2010 we implemented the Roxbury mural with clients from Casa Esperanza, supported in part by a Young Adult Community Grant from CJP, the Boston Public Health Commission Bureau of Addictions Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery, Casa Esperanza, and The MEM Project.
In 2011, the Malden Mural Project was completed, briging the city of Malden its first public mural.
You can also see pics from our recent projects on Flickr by clicking the image below:
The process involves a “Community Input Event” in which all local community members are invited for a large brainstorming session to generate possible themes and concepts for the mural. In this way the project engages the organization and its community in the collaborative artistic process, and the selected mural painters are then able to work together to condense the ideas generated at the community input event into a cohesive mural concept. All involved become a part of the design process and contribute their drawings, research, and opinions to the project.
The active participation of local students, staff, volunteers, and clients at the agencies allows for development of self esteem, pride, and empowerment as they are able to express themselves through art with an end result that will be enjoyed by all those who pass by. The sessions are led by Tova Speter with help from Anyah Lee and participants with little painting experience are given direction, taught basic painting techniques, and encouraged to share their strengths and styles.
The mural projects average approximately six weeks of sessions including designing, priming, and painting; and are celebrated publicly with a Mural Dedication Event. Click through the individual mural pages for more photos and details about each project.