Ditmas I.S. 62 is a community, not just a school. To begin the mural design process, youth artists researched the many communities represented within the school, which is located within one of the most ethnically diverse zip codes in the nation. The students learned more about the history of the neighborhood and the many immigrant populations who call it home today. They had several guest speakers including I.S. 62 Principal Kevorkian, one of City Council Member Mathieu Eugene’s staff members, and a teacher who lived in the neighborhood for the last 30 years.
The team then identified common interests, concerns, and values which have the power to bring these diverse groups together. Finally, they explored their own personal stories, using the creation of personal mythologies as a framework. In the final mural, a young girl crosses a tightrope from her fears towards her aspirations.
“Unlock Your Dreams” is located directly across the street from I.S. 62, on an out-of-business pharmacy. The wall had been an eye sore to the community. Throughout fabrication, the support and excitement from the community was enormous. During the painting process, many people stopped by regularly to ask questions, offer thanks and congratulations, or to just watch as the team painted.
⇒ Download educational curriculum (pdf)