Over the past few months, YouthCare has had the honor of partnering with Urban ArtWorks, a nonprofit that has been engaging young people, artists and communities to create public art since 1995. Together, we recently unveiled a 90-foot mural at the site of YouthCare’s future Constellation Center in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is being built in partnership with Community Roots Housing.
The work of art was created by the young students in Urban ArtWorks Mural Apprentice and Base Crew Programs along with Teaching Artists and took eight weeks to plan, design and execute. Standing at the corner of Broadway and Pine, the mural is the perfect representation of what is to come at the site – a place that is youth-centric and community collaborative.
For the unveiling, the local community gathered in the West Hall room, donated by Century Ballroom, to hear more about the process and what the young artists learned while working together. We heard from Degale Cooper, CEO of YouthCare, Amanda Hashagen, Executive Director at Urban ArtWorks, and the Mural Artists and Teaching Artists from the program.
Felipe Perez and Brady Black, two of the Teaching Artists for the project, asked the young people, “What did you learn about yourself while working on this mural?” Many of the youth mentioned the importance of collaboration and the joining of individual expression. When someone had an idea, another person was inspired to add to it or make something completely new.
After the program, attendees headed outdoors to tour the artwork up close while getting the opportunity to connect with the mural artists who hosted Q&A sessions in front of the murals. The sessions went even longer than anticipated as the community was full of questions about the process and specific details of the design.
Degale Cooper, CEO of YouthCare, commented, “We could not think of a better way to honor all that is to come on this site than by having the young people of our community paint their creative vision onto the corner that will house new pathways and new supportive connections for youth.”
“These Capitol Hill murals represent the power of community, said Amanda Hashagen, the Executive Director at Urban ArtWorks. “It shows what can happen when individuals, and organizations, come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It serves as a reminder that when we unite, we can bring about positive change and nurture an environment where everyone can thrive.”
Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing, commented, “A thriving neighborhood art scene has the power to provoke conversation and engage the public in a dialogue. This mural represents the immense creativity of our community’s young people and serves as a herald of Community Roots and YouthCare’s exciting forthcoming project.”
We are grateful for all of the work that has gone into the creation of these beautiful murals. It is so important to let young people express themselves through creativity, and the city is even more beautiful because of it. Thank you, Urban ArtWorks, for an evening full of partnership and the celebration of young artists’ creativity, hard work and passion!