Community-Engaged Youth Mural
A community-engaged youth mural is a mural that involves a group of community members; with the support of an adult Lead Artist we work to capture their ideas and transform them into a cohesive design. We strongly believe that youth should be engaged in the creation of the mural from beginning to end.
Our community engaged mural work values youth contribution of ideas unlimited by their varying artistic abilities, empowering youth voice and agency, as well as allowing multiple voices to be collaboratively represented in the completed mural.
We approach our work with the understanding that youth guide the design through valued input and participation. During a listening session we facilitate Group Discourse to provide higher levels of agency and for youth to provide ideas unlimited by their varying artistic abilities. We continue to center youth in the process by having them assist in the mural implementation regardless of their prior experience level with painting. This allows them to hold a sense of ownership in the final product.
Phases of the Process
Phase 1: Community Input
During this phase we gather information through a community listening session. These are typically held between 60-90 minutes. Examples of gathered information include symbolism, stories, ideas, history, and dreams for the future.
Phase 2: Designing
Our adult Lead Artist will take the community input and create a cohesive design. The mural will be designed to fit the space and be reflective of the participants input.
Phase 3: Feedback process
The design is shared and reviewed by our partner program who will provide feedback for the artist. We recommend that our community partners create a Design Approval Committee that represents their greater vision for the mural and its audience. This committee should represent the greater community’s voice and be able to provide feedback on their behalf. (Ex. the owner of the building and a member of the community)
Phase 4: Final Design Approval:
The lead artist provides a final design to the Design Approval Committee and all participating programs.
Phase 5: Lead Artist Preparation
The lead artist will prepare the mural design onto the wall, in preparation for Community Painting.
Phase 6: Community Painting
During this phase youth will participate in the physical creation of the mural. We use a color by number system that allows for participation regardless of painting experience. Supporting adults may also participate.
Phase 7: Lead Artist Painting
The lead artist will complete the mural by adding details and finishing touches.
Phase 8: Community Celebration
After the mural is completed we celebrate! A ribbon cutting ceremony is held to express gratitude to all of the community members who assisted in creating the mural. We invite all participants back to sign the wall as a contributing artist.
Examples of Our Work: