The Walls uses visual storytelling to create art which inspires, educates, and develops a community’s pride and sense of place through murals, sculpture, and digital installations. To date, The Walls has engaged hundreds of professional artists and thousands of community volunteers to create 70 public art installations, and contribute over $1,000,000 in economic growth to the Capital region’s creative sector.
The Walls art initiatives range from producing ten-story murals on high rise buildings, creating interactive healing-arts sculptures at hospitals, and recycling yard signs into mini-mural canvasses for children.
Our education programs amplify the power of the arts to keep young people engaged in instruction. In partnership with school districts, The Walls brings creative learning murals to youth across the state. Our instructors lead project-based learning activities, encouraging collaboration and interdisciplinary instruction among faculty.
The Walls provides pathways for creatives of all ages to engage with their community, fuel their passion for progress, and interact with professional artists.
Through The Futures Fund, a STEAM education and workforce development program, we train middle and high school students for the jobs of the future. The ten-week program is administered every spring and fall by highly trained industry professionals to build a sustainable ecosystem of economic empowerment and development with youth.
In the Digital Arts program, students learn current computer coding languages such as CSS, HTML, Java, Ruby, and Python. In the Visual Arts program, students train with photographers gaining skills and insight unavailable elsewhere. In addition to hard skills, students learn 21st century soft job skills, such as critical and creative thinking, professional communication, effective collaboration, problem solving, analysis with evidential support, project management, and public speaking.
By developing these skills early, students are set on a path to secondary education, or a career in growing industries with higher earning potential. To date, our graduates have generated $25,000 in revenue with paid internships and have launched their own start-up businesses in web design, photography, clothing, and social media marketing.
These programs are committed to building sustained economic development and a reduction of poverty.
In order to revitalize and reactivate neighborhoods, The Walls empowers the community, initiates artistic engagement, and encourages volunteers from surrounding areas to participate.
Through these cultural redevelopment projects, we hope to encourage business owners, civic leaders, volunteers, and local families to commit to place and actively participate and invest where they live and work.
Through the principles of creative placemaking, The Walls empowers citizens to rejuvenate public and private structures and streetscapes, improving local business visibility and public safety, and bringing diverse people together to inspire and be inspired by their city.
Encompassing our ‘Reactivate’ initiative is our MLK Festival of Service. This four-day event facilitates the painting of blighted buildings and murals, planting community gardens and trees, repairing fences, and hauling trash away from properties.
These creative efforts are fostering an environment for investment, job creation, and economic development, reducing and closing wealth inequality in our rural and urban communities.