Murals can be a great way to merge art with storytelling. Here are a few ideas to use murals to share history, make a statement, use for reflection, honor those who make a difference, etc.
1. Highlight Celebrations or Events
Consider a mural project for your school or organization. This could showcase an historical anniversary, some cultural achievements or a special community event. The subject matter a cooperative venture among your student body, staff, volunteers and community. Start with a list of themes and be sure that the message of the mural is hopeful and uplifting.
2. Represent All Ethnic Groups
Murals should represent the aspirations and hopes of all of the diverse individuals and families that make up a community or neighborhood. Be sure to include
and represent all of the genealogies of your participants in your mural depiction.
3. Create a Mural Unveiling Day
Whether the mural is within a school, community center, business or other organization, consider establishing a special day when the mural is unveiled.
Incorporate special music, a narrative that explains the creation of the mural and its message, and perhaps even food or kid-friendly beverages to round out the event.
4. Explore Various Mural Options
Don’t limit murals to interior walls! Consider sharing the message of your mural with the outside world. An exterior mural can be an ideal way
to share your values and mission with the neighborhood and wider world. Another idea is to use murals in smaller ways. For example, contacting your city to find out if you can paint murals on city park benches might be another way to explore murals with themes that are relevant to your community or neighborhood
5. Represent Heroes and Heroines
Whether past or present, there are many women and men who have a significant impact on how the world is shaped. Using a robust process among your class or
group, a specific hero or heroine from either the past or present can be selected as the subject of the mural and how he or she has achieved something through taking a stand
6. Celebrate Holidays Creatively
Holidays such as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July are celebrated by many. But for others, these can be painful reminders of history, stereotypes, or even a time when they miss loved ones. Select holidays such as these as a time to create murals that move beyond celebrating to finding purpose so that everyone can enjoy the holiday.
For example: On the 4th of July try a mural that represents the promise and potential of America and the Constitution. On Thanksgiving: what are ways that diverse groups can come together in gratitude?
7. Honor the Peacekeeping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Consider creating a mural that remembers the many wise words, actions and deeds of Dr. King and unveil this around the date of his birthday in January. This mural can be accompanied by a day of service and celebration in your community such as writing wishes of peace on ribbons, tying them on helium-filled balloons and sending them off into the greater world.
8. Reflect on the Reasons for Mural-making
Murals can be beautiful art forms. Consider the many reasons for your community mural as well as its style. Ancient. Historic. Modern. Pride. Hope. Inspiration. Action. Thanksgiving. Remembrance. Memorial. Protest. Uplifting. Encouraging.
Mural art, while not housed in a museum can be priceless and have a significant impact on a community. Mural making can create a welcoming environment while forging greater sense of community is sharpened. Pride flows. The bonds between people are made stronger.