Albany Barn and The Stakeholders, Inc.’s Arts Ambassador Institute (AAI) Class of 2011 have partnered to create a moveable mural with youth from the Evening Reporting Center (ERC) at Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region. The mural will be unveiled with a reception on Friday, May 6, 2011, at Stage 1, Albany Barn’s headquarters and community art space located at 46-48 North Swan Street in the Arbor Hill neighborhood.
The ERC is designed to provide structured after school programming for at risk young women referred by probation. ERC participants, aged 13-17, designed and painted the mural with members of the AAI. The theme of the mural project, entitled “We heART Our City,” is “celebrate where we are.”
“This mural allowed us to express what we would like to see in Albany and our community,” explains mural project participant Brianna, age 13.“All of us in ERC got a recommendation to do this, and as we went along with it we got more interested. Now when we see this mural, we know that we did it and we can do what we want when we put our mind to it.”
Says Mike Kelly, Assistant Director of Prevention at ERC, “The most amazing part of it is the girls were completely against the project in the beginning, but as they have worked on the mural, they have become more and more invested in it. We have girls who got upset if they had another appointment and missed time doing the mural. How powerful is that! Pride in our community starts way deep inside, and the project has brought that to the surface for our girls.”
“We have been amazed to see how these young women have progressed from a lack of interest to total enthusiasm for the project,’” says Tony Iadicicco, member of the Arts Ambassador Institute Class of 2011, Albany Barn board member and lead artist on the mural project. “Once they realized that they could create a unique piece of artwork to share with the community, they all became energized and invested in the project. We are proud to have made this project a reality with them.”
Participants in the mural project will be presented with a certificate of achievement during the May 6 reception. The reception will be held from 5:00pm – 9:00pm in conjunction with the monthly 1st Friday arts walk in the City of Albany. Refreshments will be served, and the 1st Friday Trolley will provide complimentary transportation.
Sponsorship support for “We heART Our City” is provided by Price Chopper, Arlene’s Artist Materials, Ace Hardware (Route 20) and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
“We heART Our City,” will remain on view through May.Also on display at Stage 1:”The Reflections Series – Empire State Cars” by photographer/designer Craig A. Shufelt. Admission is free.