“I Am, We Are” Mural Project
“The ‘I Am, We Are’ mural project is an example of how we build bridges between our youth and the community to enrich the city,”
On June 14, 2016, arts education nonprofit Art Resource Collaborative for Kids (ARCK), with the help of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, unveiled a large outdoor public mural in the famous Fenway neighborhood. The Boston community is now witness to a mural co-created by ARCK’s Gardner Pilot Academy students, ARCK’s teachers, interns, and hired professional artist, Mark Cooper, known for his collaborative art endeavors with children across the country. The 48 foot wide and 12 foot tall mural entitled, “I Am, We Are,” showcases students’ exploration of their identities and multicultural communities to an audience of three million passersby. This extravagant mural will catch the eye of not only the Boston community, but of tourists, who will be reminded about art’s ability to bring people together.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Arts and Culture Chief Julie Burros attended the ceremony while the Red Sox were event sponsors, providing refreshments to attendees, including students, teachers, and family members.
The “I Am, We Are” mural project became a life-changing opportunity for many Boston Public School students, who were given the ability to make their mark physically, visually, and creatively in their own local community of Boston. This mural creation is an example of how art education can develop children’s self-esteem and guide children on their journey of exploring who they are. They were encouraged to reflect on the different facets of their identities and to listen to each other’s perspectives. These exercises in intercultural understanding are reflected in ARCK’s overall curriculum, which emphasizes three key areas of global citizenship: leadership, civic engagement, and social justice.
View our “In Media” page to see the different coverages from this event.
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International Art Healing
In addition to developing programs for public schools in Boston, ARCK founder Sara Mraish Demeter has traveled to Jordan to bring a “Storytelling through Art” program to Syrian refugee children displaced from their homes and schools and living in Jordan. This international art healing program was conducted at the Family Guidance Awareness Center in Zarqa and aided by a small grant from the MIT IDEAS Global challenge.
Sara is passionate about the power of art to help heal after trauma, and hopes to continue working with children affected by the global refugee crisis. Read her blog entries from the 2013 program here to see the impact the arts can have on children experiencing displacement and trauma.