connect / 2020
100 Murals for Peace
100 Murals for Peace will bring a county-wide, united, colorful message of peace to the world from the youth and communities of Los Angeles. 100 unique art pieces designed by students and young artists will be selected from a county-wide contest. On September 11-13, 2020 thousands of volunteers from community groups, schools, workplaces, veterans organizations, and more will paint their adopted mural on one of 100 walls across the city, spreading peace, joy and togetherness through this collective creative action.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
- LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Arts Bridging the Gap’s 100 Murals for Peace Project will serve youth in under- resourced communities, many of whom have experienced childhood trauma. Over 90% of our participants live well under the poverty line. The majority are undocumented or have close family members who are undocumented, and many have unstable housing. Studies show that murals significantly reduce the crime rate up to 18% and elevate residents’ sense of community and satisfaction with their city (“The Effect of Mural on Personal Crime and Fear of Crime” in Procedia: Social and Behavorial Sciences, 2016). Our experience shows, time and time again, that when kids become involved in the design and creation of a mural in their community, they develop a vested interest in using and maintaining their communal spaces. When they have a true creative connection to the places they frequent, the community becomes a better and safer place to live, work, and visit. Now imagine the power of painting 100 murals in three days!
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Arts Bridging the Gap is the only organization of its kind not only in Los Angeles, but across the nation that creates community connections and artistic opportunities for thousands of youth living in poverty while at the same time engaging an empathy curriculum that responds to the effects and implications of childhood trauma. We use positive psychology and trauma-informed care within our arts-based project to heal toxic stress in an open, vulnerable collaborative format.
While many other organizations provide arts programming to youth in under-resourced communities, the sheer scale of the 100 Murals for Peace project is unmatched. Ours is also the only organization that provides such a high number of students the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in a permanent location in their community. We’re able to commit to such a large-scale project in such a short period of time thanks to our wide network of artists, supporters, volunteers, partners, and friends.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
A mural has immensely positive impacts on its surroundings. It creates pride in a community both for those who create it and who look upon it, increases foot traffic, and attracts businesses and tourists to an area. A mural turns a drab street corner into a hub where people gather, and often becomes a phenom on social media - think, for instance, of how often murals are used as the backdrops for selfies and videos. Studies show that the placement of a mural can attract housing creation, reduce depression and crime, and overall elevate the quality of life for residents and businesses. At Arts Bridging the Gap, that is fundamentally what we exist to do - uplift and create connections and messages of peace within, for and by our city.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
One of our initial gauges of success will be the number of people involved in developing this project. Through press and partnerships, we will encourage thousands of kids across LA to contribute to the design process by getting their creative juices flowing and inviting them to put together a proposal of what “peace” means to them. Some young artists will be paired or partnered with our adult volunteers and partners, such as veterans groups, volunteer organizations, schools, and neighborhood groups like Team Rubicon and Big Sunday to help strengthen the message of peace and encourage the collaborative projects that are at the core of our mission. We will also define our success in the planning stages by how many community members and property owners are moved to donate their walls to our huge city-wide vision, as well as contributions of supplies.
In the execution phase of the project, a crucial measure of success will be the number of volunteers we get energized to spend a day wielding a brush, climbing a ladder, and supporting a group of peers in the creation of a larger than life painting! Ultimately, the biggest measure of success won’t be, “did we get 100 murals painted?” But rather, “did we have fun and learn more about each other in the process of doing it? And does our neighborhood look and feel like a stronger community as a result?” If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes!”, then we achieved what we set out to do.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Social and emotional support
- Public arts and cultural events
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation