“The mural is a representation of our truth from the inside out. It’s a hub for the light that is within Mattapan and our members, who always deserve to be highlighted.” – Yaritza Dudley, Teen Program Manager, Mattapan Teen Center
This summer, members at Mattapan Teen Center (MTC) designed, created, and unveiled a new community mural, developed in partnership with Boston Planning & Development Agency. The mural celebrates the values that MTC members believe encapsulate our Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) community.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design something like this, especially for my community here in Mattapan,” says member artist Chelton. “It’s a privilege to be able to inspire other artists and youth through my craft.”
Chelton, who led the project alongside fellow member Fabrice, worked with 15 MTC members to select the values that best describe their Club experience: engagement, community, activism, opportunity, safety, and fun.
“A lot of the kids have different creative capabilities, so they were all included by describing their ideas, which Chelton then sketched out,” says Teen Program Manager Yaritza Dudley. “It was important for them to feel like they all had a part in this and made their own contribution to the project.” These digital sketches were then printed onto vibrant adhesive vinyl and placed around the front entrance of the Club.
At the unveiling celebration in June, participating members gathered with the community to show off their hard work and collaboration. “Since everyone played a part, they could all explain the importance of the piece to the guests,” says Yaritza.
This project comes on the heels of a new initiative by Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) to create more public art created by local organizations and community members.
“We are so grateful that the BPDA presented us with this amazing idea and experience,” says Club Director Rick Aggeler. “To give our teens the autonomy to design a mural and present it to our neighborhood speaks volumes about how the BPDA values our teens’ voices.”
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. We do this by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs.