The Amphi neighborhood has the second highest amount of criminal damage violations such as graffiti and the highest amount of juvenile violations, narcotic violations, motor vehicle thefts, and offenses against families and children. Domestic violence, gangs, tagging, and drugs are all substantial issues surrounding this neighborhood and the children growing up in it. Mostly, this is a challenge for the teens and younger children who can easily be influenced from peer pressure both in and outside of school and home. Unfortunately, many of these teens end up going to a juvenile detention center that usually results in dropping out of school without getting a GED. Each child that becomes a victim to this lifestyle is a tremendous loss for the neighborhood and the Tucson Arts Brigade is taking action to reverse this growing trend.
The Tucson Arts Brigade’s (TAB) has been invited to help this neighborhood by creating a mural at the Woods Library, which is in the heart of the neighborhood. This library is located at 3455 N. First Ave. Tucson, AZ 85719. The surrounding streets of the Amphi neighborhood range between First Avenue, Fort Lowell Road, Oracle Road and Roger Road. This is a vast area in the Tucson community. Cultural development projects such as these are none in the Amphi neighborhood. There are abandoned properties, junked cars and unkempt yards and homes making living environments quite hazardous, especially for young children. Many of the streets are very desolate with many dirt lots, no paved sidewalks, and walls surrounding homes and businesses are filled with graffiti. The TAB wishes to have the children and teens participate in this mural to help them get involved and help build healthy, safe, compassionate and vibrant neighborhoods, increase literacy, reducing violence and beautify the places they live and work.
A group of 25 youth ages 9-21 are being be led through an 12-week course. Students are tasked with the complete process of designing, creating and installing a work of public art. The students are learning about the history of murals, the emerging and exciting field of community cultural development as well as the fundamental elements of art and principles of design. TAB teaches the students about the project first and what they intend to accomplish both for the mural itself and what it is meant to represent in the community. All of these kids are incredibly creative and have minds that are always open to discover something new. TAB likes to try to use those characteristics to have the students do something positive in their lives. Symbols of hope, love and strength are instilled in each unique mural TAB paints.
|Painting on the Amphi Action mural started in May, 2013|
These murals change the lives of the students that participate in the projects and to the rest of the people living in the neighborhood. The Tucson Arts Brigade hopes that everyone feels a sense of ownership to and pride in this mural and that it becomes a destination and source of inspiration for years to come. We are looking for your support to help this plan can become a reality in the very near future. Any little donation can help make a difference in a young student’s life!
Community partner organizations include; Amphi Neighborhood Association, Pima County Public Library, Amphi Community Action Group, Good Neighbor Ventures, United Way, C-Corp Mentoring Program and Trees for Tucson.
Thank you TPAC PLACE IV on behalf of the Open Society Institute for support of the Amphi Action Mural Project and this after school program for youth ages 8 - 21
This project meets Thursdays 5:30- 7, Feb 21 – May 30 at Woods Library 3455 N First Ave., Tucson, AZ
To enroll or for more information about this and other programs email ArtsBrigadeMAP@gmail.com