NEW YORK (Aug. 7, 2002) – In an effort to revitalize lower Manhattan and pay tribute to everyday heroes, CITYarts announces the unveiling of its most recent public art project that engages children in creative self-expression and the beautification of their neighborhood. Entitled Celebrating the Heroes of Our City, this 210-foot mural – one of the largest in the city – is being designed and painted collaboratively by artist Richard Weinstein and more than 300 schoolchildren ages 7-17, CITYarts staff members, professional artists and volunteers. The mural will cover a wall of Henry M. Jackson Park, located at the intersection of Henry, Madison, and Jackson Streets on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-September 2002.
DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company, is sponsoring the project as part of its ongoing relationship with CITYarts, and in keeping with its dedication to making the dreams of families and children a reality through focused public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in areas such as learning, compassion, the arts and the environment.
“Celebrating the Heroes of Our City, our 247th project, is our way of responding to the events of 9/11,” said Tsipi Ben-Haim, Executive Director, CITYarts. “We are giving the children of the Lower East Side a chance to be heard, to paint their dreams of a better future on the wall of their neighborhood park. We hope it will stand as a constant reminder of people coming together for a great cause.”
Throughout the next two months, Weinstein will work with the children to conceptualize the mural and direct them while they are painting. Weekly creative workshops have also been held for the children to help them learn about shapes, sizes, colors and portraiture, designed to enhance their experience. The children involved in this effort are from the Henry Street Settlement, Grand Street Settlement, Phipps Plaza Community Center, Edwin Gould Services for Children, and the Beacon YMCA.
“Disney cast members in the New York area have been looking for an appropriate and meaningful way to reach out to the communities affected by the events of September 11,” said Deborah Dugan, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Support for this CITYarts mural project is expected from across the Disney business units and will include special events and activities that will enhance the children’s experience.”
Founded in 1968, CITYarts is dedicated to creating public art of the highest caliber in communities where access to and participation in the arts are limited. By establishing partnerships among youth, families, local businesses, schools and city officials to create meaningful public artworks, CITYarts fosters cultural and economic growth and revitalization in under-served urban areas of New York, while addressing important, civic, social and educational issues. CITYarts brings professional artists together with the youth of these neighborhoods to design and create murals, mosaics, sculptures and other forms of art to transform desolate and forgotten walls into vibrant public spaces. More information can be found at www.cityarts.org.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise which includes Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Stores, television and radio stations and Internet web sites. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit www.disneyhand.com.