Dayton’s Bluff Community proudly sponsors the Art on the Blocks initiative…an exciting, creative, unique effort that inspires community engagement.
Art on the Blocks was launched in May of 2014 with two primary goals in mind.
- Create community engagement and youth organization efforts focusing on art as the catalyst for positive change in Dayton’s Bluff with particular focus on the East 7th Street business district.
- Create new partnerships that focus on youth engagement and leadership development via art throughout the East Side.
Projects have included murals that depict what community engagement means to kids in the East Side, ranging in age from six to seventeen, who are participating in the art projects. Jesus Ramirez, Lead Organizer of Art on the Blocks during its inaugural year, has found the initiative to be “amazingly successful.” Ramirez notes, “It creates the space and opportunity for those involved to really think about what community engagement means to them. How having a community that is involved and active impacts their lives. And in turn, how being involved and active themselves can positively effect their lives and the lives of others in their community.” Art on the Blocks also includes youth participation at existing venues that include art projects and art initiatives, such as Market on the Bluff and Night Out on East 7th Street.
Partnerships with schools, businesses and organizations focused on youth engagement are crucial to the success of Art on the Blocks. A few project partners have included Battle Creek Middle School, Harding High School, Margaret Park, the Department of Parks and Recreation, Seventh Day Adventist Church, and Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center.
From the very beginning, it was apparent that this was going to be an effective program accomplishing exactly what it intended. The first mural project was with Battle Creek Middle School and Harding high school kids who were involved in an after school program that had a Latino culture focus. They met twice a week at Battle Creek Middle school for five weeks and spoke about what it means to be Latino to each individual. The theme of the mural was formed from those discussions. The final mural has images of Mexica (Aztec) and Mayan motifs incorporated with a silhouette of St. Paul’s skyline. The goal of the mural was to create a better relationship with the school and the youth as well as the opportunity for mentor-ship and dialogue about civic engagement. Success!
Learn how you can be part of this important community initiative either as an organizational partner or an individual volunteer by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
A creative way to support Dayton’s Bluff and to Get Involved!