Murals by 20/20 Vision for Schools transform public schools into centers of creative collaboration and sustainable community change.
More than pretty pictures, 20/20′s murals raise the bar of possibility for creative and educational potential. The collaborative process leverages the creative capacities of distinct neighborhoods by inviting students, schools, artists, and community groups alike to conceive and execute a shared vision that physically transforms a school building. Their progression invites passers-by to volunteer, stakeholders to invest, and neighbors to connect cross-culturally. And their permanence serves as a continuing reminder of what’s possible when communities and schools partner for sustainable change.
To date, 20/20 has mobilized twenty-five artists and 1,300 volunteers from forty partner organizations to collaborate with seven public schools serving more than 5,800 students in New York City. The economically diverse students include immigrants from the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. Together, they have painted 4,500 square feet of public art celebrating themes including: “Community,” “Identity,” “Legacy,” “Generations,” “Resilience,” “Welcome,” and “Dreams.” In every instance, both the process and permanence of the murals instill school and community pride, and reflect the cultural distinctiveness of the communities that produced them. Best of all, they foretell a vibrant future that attracts new neighbors and community investments.
20/20’s Visual Arts Programs
419 schools in New York City (28%) lack a full-time, certified arts teacher. … The sad reality is that these reductions have fallen disproportionately on the City’s lower income neighborhoods. – NYC Controller Scott Stringer, State of the Arts
20/20 Vision for Schools provides multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts programs that cultivate the character and competencies necessary for students to thrive in today’s world. In Spring 2014, even as NYC Controller Scott Stringer issued his State of the Arts report lamenting the precipitous decline in arts education in NYC Public Schools, 20/20 Vision for Schools was providing visual and performing arts programs in a dozen schools around the city, including five murals. Current visual arts programs include: Schoolyard Murals; Mural: Master Class; Thrive Teaching Artists; and Thrive Interns.
In Spring 2014, 20/20 expanded its visual arts programs to include “Mural: Master Class,” a fifty hour experience being offered as an accredited art elective at a high school and a selective after-school program at a junior high school. In addition, 20/20 facilitated an interior mural at an early childhoodK-2 school in the Bronx and its largest ever schoolyard mural at a K-8 school in Brooklyn.
|“Community: I Am Park Slope,” Schoolyard Mural at PS 282||“Legacy” by Progress High School for Borinquen Sr. Center||“Generations” by McKinley JHS for Norwegian Sr. Center||“Identity: I Am Mount Eden,” Early Education Mural at PS 170|
The legacy of 20/20’s Murals endures because the collaborative process catalyzes longer-term educational impacts. At PS 34, the site of 20/20’s first “Dream Walls” mural project in 2007, the school can trace the start of its turnaround to that general time frame. After experiencing 20/20’s “Welcome” mural, Principal Theresa Dovi of PS 102 remarked: “Projects like this turn good schools into great schools, and good kids into great students.” Three years later, her successor, Principal Sichenze called the PS 102 mural, “Life changing.”
Similarly, after the completion of 20/20’s Resilience mural at PS 329, Principal Salema Marbury exclaimed:
“20/20 Vision for Schools exemplifies what can be accomplished when caring individuals team up to leverage their energy, creativity and expertise to positively impact the educational process. Community and school partnerships serve as key elements of school improvement as educators continuously strive to create sustainable change.