“It’s fun. It’s different. We’re starting with nothing and making something beautiful.” – Gary Cain, volunteer
Green Street is surrounded by revitalization this summer. More than 5 neighboring houses are being remodeled, gardens are being planted, and across the street at St. Vincent DePaul Place, the community is coming together to bring color and meaning to the North End.
In 2009, Green Street partnered with Citizen’s Bank to put a mural on the corner of Green and Main Street. With this success, Green Street and mural artist Marela Zacarias were eager to continue beautifying the community. When Ron Krum of St. Vincent DePaul Place expressed interest in the project, funding was secured from Lego’s Children Fund and the design process began.
In preparation for the project, Marela held four educational workshops for Green Street students in which she discussed the importance of murals. Ron then gave the kids the background of St. Vincent DePaul Place and its impact on the community. It was obvious that the students had been inspired; at the next mural meeting, there were dozens of design ideas. The final mural design is a culmination of Green Street student drawings, St. Vincent DePaul Place’s vision, and Marela’s artistic guidance.
It’s not just the familiar images of North End landmarks that make this mural a community collaboration; St. Vincent de Paul volunteers Gary, Bill, and John have been working tirelessly alongside Marela throughout the painting process. These three men, all with their own story, have come together to give something back to the community and, in doing so, have formed friendships. This dedication has inspired Marela to include their faces in the mural to give the community a stronger sense of ownership.
Marela sees the Community Mural Project as an act of kindness, something to show community support. “That corner is the corner where hardship lives,” she says, “and the fact that we’re making that corner, specifically, beautiful and colorful and full of hope, is bringing healing to the community.”
If you are interested in supporting and helping our community revitalization efforts please contact us at (860) 685-7871 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by Lisa Bruno, Development Assistant