Attention Local and Arts Writers Contact: Tova Speter
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2006 Phone: 617-338-7668
Media Event: May 10, 2006 5-7 pm
Local Students and Volunteers Work with Community
to Design and Paint Mural for Local Non-Profit
Mural dedication ceremony and celebration: Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting child abuse victims and their families, is now the home of a forty-two foot long mural designed and painted by members of their community. Local artist Tova Speter worked with students from the Media and Technology Charter High (MATCH) School next door, along with the Center’s staff, volunteers, and local artists for six weeks as part of the “Engaging Communities” Mural Project.
This mural is the first of three funded in part by a grant from the Fund for the Arts, a restricted fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts, and a joint venture with The Art Connection, a non-profit dedicated to making the arts more accessible to community organizations.
The process involved a “Community Input Event” in which all community members were invited for a large brainstorming session to generate possible themes and concepts for the mural. In this way the project engaged the organization and its community in the collaborative artistic process, and the mural volunteers were then able to work together to condense the ideas generated at the Community Input Event into a cohesive mural concept. All involved became a part of the design process and contributed their drawings, research, and opinions to the project.
Students and adults with little painting experience were given direction, taught basic painting techniques, encouraged to share their strengths and styles, and were often paired with an artist mentor for additional support.
The completed mural, “Beantown Dreams,” will be celebrated at a Community Mural Dedication and Art Tour on May 10, from 5-7 pm along with 31 works of art by 14 artists who have generously donated work for permanent placement at the Children’s Advocacy Center through The Art Connection’s art donation and placement program. Community members and artists will be in attendance. Reporters are encouraged to attend the event on Wednesday, May 10 from 5-7 pm. The Children’s Advocacy Center is located at: 989 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. (Green Line, B Train to Babcock Street.)
The Art Connection builds connections between artists and their communities by bringing art to community organizations – clinics, youth and senior service programs, job training centers, shelters and residential programs, and more. The Art Connection identifies artists willing to donate their work, catalogs the works for presentation to prospective recipients, helps agencies access the appropriate work, and teaches them to care for the art. These works of art are then the permanent property of the organizations. In their new environments, art stimulates dialogue, creativity, learning and healing. This simple but powerful idea has impacted the lives of more than a hundred thousand people in Greater Boston, giving those who often have the least access to art direct experience in their own communities. www.theartconnection.org.
“This is an amazing mural for our center and [we gained] the opportunity to be part of a truly collaborative and successful project.” – Susan Goldfarb, Director, Children’s Advocacy Center
“[The most enjoyable part of this experience was] seeing my students engaged and proud of their work.” – Zach Svigals, MATCH School mentor
“Group collaboration – seeing how participants can contribute in various ways according to their desires, confidences, and abilitiesâ€¦ [I gained} a better understanding of the mechanics of putting ideas/concepts into action.” – Children’s Advocacy Center Staff
“I would recommend a similar mural project for other organizations because it helps spread a very positive messageâ€¦ I gained skills and confidence.” – Luis, MATCH student
“I attended the brainstorming event, where hundreds of ideas are bandied about, and wondered, â€˜how will this all come together.’ Six weeks later, I was astonished to witness how the coordination of so much creative energy had transformed that wall into a stunning mural.” – Jim McDonald, Executive Director, The Art Connection