Congratulations to all of our youth partners in the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network’s Youth Violence Reduction Program who completed this quarter’s Mural Arts Program’s Restorative Justice Project.
For four months seven of our young partners, from the 22nd Police District, worked along with esteemed artists, partners, and staff the Mural Arts Program and Urban Creators Farms, on the “Regeneration” project to beautify an abandoned lot located at 11th and Dakota Streets.
Three days per week (Tuesday – Thursday), our youth partners worked with staff from the Urban Creators Farms to design, construct, and create large scale infrastructure (raised beds, compost systems, greenhouses, irrigation systems, vertical growing systems, aquaponic system, and solar panels) to increase the organizations capacity to impact the local community.
Two days per week (Monday and Friday) our youth partners worked with Mural Arts artists Jesse Krimes and Russell Craig (both formerly incarcerated) to design and create a mural along the regional rail wall and walls connecting the Urban Creators space.
Pictured: PAAN Youth Partners and Mural Arts staff who participated in the “Regeneration” Project
Tuesday’s event drew Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, city officials, youth justice advocates, local media, PAAN partners, and our staff including our Executive Director Robert Brown and our new YVRP Director Ron Brown.
During the dedication and closing ceremony our partners got a chance to share their personal testimonies of how the program inspired and impacted their lives.
The nationally-acclaimed Guild program created for ex-offenders and at-risk youth is the culmination of training, mentorship, and project completion in Mural Arts activities which focus on five disciplines including: Wall and Mural Preparation, Restoration Building Repair, Mosaic Tiling and Masonry, Landscaping, and Carpentry.
The program boasts a remarkable track record in reducing recidivism. It has a 60 percent success rate, according to organizers. Mural Arts staff members continue to work with our youth partners for 18 months after the program ends. More than 500 at risk youth participate in the program each year.
We hope you enjoy a few of the photos from today’s event.
Photo Credit: PAAN YVRP Staff
Also Check Out: PAAN Youth Get Fresh Start With Mural Arts Program