The Barrio Centro Community Mural Project is sponsored by the Tucson Arts Brigade and is the latest release of the Tucson Mural Arts Program. This beautiful and colorful mural depicts the stories and memories of Barrio Centro neighbors that were gathered over the past year and a half.
Many scenes of neighborhood social life and history including music, baseball and the railroad are on a cement block wall that spans 176 feet long, and varies in height from 4 to 6 feet.
A mural planning and design team included Barrio Centro area residents, Howenstine Magnet High School students and their art teacher, Tempest Alabi-Isama, and Josh Jacobsen, owner of the Lucky Wishbone restaurant who worked with Michael Schwartz, Executive Director of the Tucson Arts Brigade and Lead Artist/Educator in a year-long series of workshops that included presentations, field trips and lessons on mural making and history.
“This mural reinforces our commonalities,” said German Quiroga, President of the Barrio Centro Association. The workshops included Elder Shares, meetings, and Community Paint Days which involved more than 100 neighborhood residents, and created a sense of pride, ownership, and a personal connection to the mural.
“Graffiti abatement has always been one of our goals and it is my belief that we as a community must engage our youth in worthwhile activities to steer them away from non-productive ones. Each life we touch makes our community a better place,” said Quiroga.
The Barrio Centro Community Mural Project has been a great way to engage local youth in a positive neighborhood beautification project that can be admired by all of Tucson.
This Project is part of a new Tucson Arts Brigade anti-tagging initiative entitled “Beautify and Unify” that offers arts based solutions to pressing community needs.
Funding for this project was provided by Tucson-Pima Arts Council (TPAC)/Kresge Arts in Tucson, Pro Neighborhoods, Union Pacific Foundation, Lucky Wishbone, Tucson Arts Brigade and Barrio Centro Association.
For more information, visit: www.TucsonArtsBrigade.org