Attention Local and Arts Writers Contact: Tova Speter
For Immediate Release: October 19, 2006 Phone: 617-338-7668
Media Event: November 9, 2006, 8 am
Community Volunteers Work with Local Artists to Design & Paint Intergenerational Mural in Newton
Mural dedication ceremony and celebration: Thursday November 9, 2006.
The Newton Community Service Center, a nonprofit organization that strengthens individual, family, and community life through a network of support services and educational programs for all ages, is now the home of a 40 foot long mural designed and painted by members of their community. Local artists Tova Speter and Anyahlee Suderman worked with the Center’s staff, volunteers, and community residents from July through September as part of The Art Connection’s “Engaging Communities” Mural Project.
This mural is the third 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 project engaged the organization and its community in the collaborative artistic process. The process began with 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 subsequent sessions, the group worked 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 research and opinions to the project. Then they took their design to the wall.
Most participants came to the project with little to no painting experience. They were given direction, taught basic painting techniques, encouraged to share their strengths and styles, and partnered with an artist mentor for additional support. Participants ranged in age from 5 – 80 years old and truly reflected the variety of community members supported by the Center.
The completed mural, “A Tree Grows in West Newton” will be celebrated at a Community Mural Dedication on November 9, 2006 at 8 am along with an unveiling of the recently renovated handicapped-accessible entrance to the Center. Community members, including Newton Mayor David B. Cohen, local politicians and funders, and artists will be in attendance. Reporters are encouraged to attend the event on Thursday November 9. Newton Community Service Center is located at 492 Waltham Street, West Newton, MA 02465 . For directions, see www.ncscweb.org.
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 thousands in Greater Boston, giving those who often have the least access to art direct experience in their own communities. www.theartconnection.org.