Athmar Park Youth Paint a Mural to Combat Vandalism
May 6, 2011 – The youth who participate in the Athmar Park Branch Library’s After School is Cool program had observed that the tool shed at the library is frequently vandalized – and they decided to take the matter into their own hands by painting a mural on the shed discourage future graffiti.
This strategy worked for the Branch back in 2009, when a group of youth painted a mural on a south facing exterior wall of the library, an area which was frequently vandalized. Once the mural went up, the tagging had stopped in that area.
“I think it is wonderful that these kids care enough about their library, and their community to not only initiate this project, but also be so dedicated to completing it,” says Library Program Associate, Kristin Roper.
The mural was completed in early May, and depicts a scene from the Athmar Park community. The youth, ages 8-17, and the Library worked with professional mural artists from an organization called Your Name in Graffiti, who instructed youth on the difference between positive graffiti art and graffiti vandalism.
Amanda VonRuden, one of the participants, age 15 states, “I wanted to be a part of the mural project to help improve the community. Also by doing the project, I got to meet new people, and make new friends in my neighborhood. I think it was a meaningful experience where we could learn about the positives and negatives of graffiti; tagging versus art.”
Teresa Tran, age 12, also commented on her experience, “I wanted to do this mural because I love ASIC (After School Is Cool) and everything we do there is very fun and educational! This was my very first mural and after that I hope that there are many more mural projects to come. Everyone that I worked with was very friendly and had awesome personalities! Not only did we prevent tagging, we also learned how to spray paint, we helped beautify our community, and made a bunch of new friends “
-courtesy of Denver Public Library
The Athmar Park Library is located at 1055 S. Tejon Street and is open Tues/Thurs/Fri: 10-6, Wed: 12-8, Closed: Mon, Sat, Sun.
After School Is Cool is currently offered at four Denver Public Library branches, and creates learning and developmental opportunities for children and youth during critical after-school hours before parents get home. Activities range from home-work help to art, cooking, and more.