Other Community Projects – The White Wall

 ~There are splashes of color where there once was white~

The White Wall Project was a collective effort between the youth of the Urbiztondo neighborhood, a group of passionate individuals, a local NGO – The Collective, and the San Fernando City Youth initiative – LINK

Members of The Collective, Colleen Curran and Meghan Larson conceptualized the White Wall project. Students were out of school and Colleen and Meghan saw an opportunity to educate and engage the youth while transforming the white wall into a fun and colorful mural with an environmental message.

After The Collective wrote the initial proposal, the president of the La Union Surf Club, Mickey Galang solicited funders to provide paint and snacks for the youth, who would be the participants in the mural painting. Caitlin Manning-Riley, Laura Riavitz and Mike Tan began to collaborate in the project, and together this team created a workshop for the youth that engaged them in a stimulating activities that would empower them to participate in environmental protection. First, the youth gathered for a morning camp. During this time, they role-played ways they could protect the beach, picked up trash, and then created environmental posters from what trash they collected. Lastly, under guidance from local artist Mike Tan, they conceptualized what the mural would look like.

Two days later, the youth gathered with paint brushes in hand and painted the 15 by 2 meter white wall. What was once an ugly white wall, now depicts blue waves, brown bankas (boats), multi-colored fish, an octopus, a snorkeler and surfer. Over 30 people joined in the mural painting event, and once it was completed moms, dads, children and onlookers had contributed to the “Keep Our Beach Clean” mural. The children’s names were signed below a stamp of their hand to commemorate the event.

This mural, which faces the busy ocean, is on a major walking thoroughfare in the beach community, and stands as a symbol of a community that cares. It is a testament that yes, it does in fact take a community. Without the funding support of LINK, the organizational skills of Mickey Galang, the initiation of The Collective, the dedicated community members Cat and Laura, the artistic support of Mike Tan or the youth participants none of this would be possible.

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