Groundswell Community Mural Project

Award Recipients - 2005

Amy Sananman, Founder

Groundswell Community Mural Project (Groundswell) strengthens community participation through grassroots mural projects.  As the only community murals arts organization in New York City, it teaches individuals, organization and artist in underserved neighborhoods to use murals as both ìto increase civic participations and empower people to speak for themselves in a large-scale venueî and to help people connect to each other, to neighborhood issues, and to their imaginations.  Its approach allows young people and community members to interact and translates social concerns into an artistic public message.

Groundswell runs several programs.  An intensive after-school program teaches youth how to use murals as a community organizing tool.  The Great Walls/Summer Youth Leadership Institute employs forty to fifty teens from across the city over the summer and enables them to organize and facilitate large-scale, collaborative community murals.  The Community Mural Action Program partners on a year-around basis with schools and community organizations to develop interior or exterior murals that reflect and communicate their mission.  Voice Heard brings in young women from low-income communities to speak out about what it means to be a young woman in contemporary society.  Groundswell gives voice to marginalized populations; it believes that broad social change start with the individual and must be built on self-knowledge and transformative experiences.

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