Nuestros Murales Unidos
Youth Policy Institute
Through Nuestros Murales Unidos, communities in Central LA will come together to design public art spaces that reflect the communities themselves and serve as a space for gathering and collaboration.
What does your organization do?
YPI works to reduce poverty in Central LA by ensuring families have access to high quality schools and wraparound supportive services, enabling successful transition from cradle to college and career.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
Nuestros Murales Unidos will activate communities in Pico-Union and Westlake to beautify neighborhoods and unite people through public art, working with local residents and artists to design and paint murals. A summer youth program will work with local businesses to revitalize storefronts, while motivating the next generation of leaders. These works—designed and painted by locals—will connect the community in a collective process and reclaim streets as a collaborative public space.
Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?
- Attendance at cultural events
- Attendance at public/open streets gatherings
- Rates of volunteerism
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Advocate for policy
- Digital organizing or activism
- Trainings and/or in-person engagements
- Increase participation in political processes
- Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?
Nuestros Murales Unidos will paint five neighborhoods in Central Los Angeles with public art, fostering connection through a collective process and depictions of community pride in public space. We will work in Pico-Union and Westlake, bringing the community together to choose five areas to turn into a “museum mile,” each featuring 2-4 murals. YPI’s Community Engagement Coordinator will work closely with local artists, including YPI’s partner Juan Reyes, to activate residents and work together towards designs that showcase community identity and resilience. We will distribute a community feedback form through local schools, YPI afterschool programs, and door-to-door canvassing to get widespread input. Reyes will use this input to make an initial design, which will be available for public review. Parents who are active on YPI’s Safe Routes to School Task Forces will be engaged to give input and activate their friends and family to participate in the mural process. Once a design is finalized, volunteers will work with Reyes at a community event to prepare the wall and paint the mural. The Museum Miles will activate community members at every stage of the process, offering volunteer opportunities and culminating in a large community cultural event in a public space.
Nuestros Murales Unidos will also create a summer program for local students to participate in beautification. The program will be run by the Community Engagement Coordinator and held each weekday for an hour. Students will work with local businesses to talk about the appearance of their storefront, offering to repaint shabby exterior walls with simple designs or place decorated potted plants outside. The summer program will activate the next generation of community leaders, empowering students with a sense of responsibility to their community and the tools to take action. Parents and community members will be encouraged to help with designing and creating these smaller works.
Throughout the process, we will work with community members and partner organizations to kick off a social media campaign using the artworks as a focal point for community pride. #MuralesUnidos and #OurMurals will give this project a unified online presence, and carry connections created through the design process online. Angelenos across the city will be connected to the art through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and encouraged to start similar projects in their own communities. By offering meaningful volunteer opportunities and cultural events in community spaces, YPI hopes to provide resources for these communities to come together and create something that truly represents them. The collaborative murals will serve as a visual representation of the community’s pride and resilience, as well as the power of collective action. These works—chosen, designed, and painted by locals—will reclaim streets as a collaborative public space, a canvas for public engagement led by a new generation of community leaders.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect
Nuestros Murales Unidos will create a clear path of engagement, moving from social media interaction to campaigning for change at neighborhood council meetings. The first step will be activating people online, targeting Angelenos countywide to like or share social media posts about the art. The project will activate the local community to post original content about the artworks, including pictures and descriptions of how the art represents them. #MuralesUnidos and #OurMurals will unite content in an online community, and all promotional materials will use the hashtag.
The summer program will activate students, administrators, and local business owners, creating partnerships for neighborhood beautification. Business owners will be key stakeholders, and encouraged to engage in other aspects of the project.
Local residents will be activated to participate in designing and painting the murals. Bilingual forms will be sent out to students and families, and staff will canvas to widen the project’s reach. This process will emphasize community ownership of the project, and lead to large volunteer turnout at mural creation events.
In each neighborhood, we will encourage those who are most passionate to join together in a Task Force that will canvas for community input, rally friends and family to attend events, and campaign for any needed City approval. The Task Force will receive capacity-building training to attend neighborhood council meetings and lead the charge for change.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
Activation will be tracked at each level of engagement to reach the goal of involving 100,000 Angelenos. Social media impressions for posts by YPI, as well as all related content with #MuralesUnidos and #OurMurals will be tracked weekly, and compiled into Excel sheets that will be analyzed quarterly to determine progress.
YPI will track the number of completed community feedback surveys, flyers given to students and families, and community members volunteering at mural events. These numbers will be analyzed in quarterly STAT Reports that track progress towards annual outcomes. Nuestros Murales Unidos will aim to reach 100 community members through canvassing, give flyers to 400 students, and engage 100 volunteers in each area.
Additionally, YPI will track the number of student participants in Nuestros Murales Unidos summer program through enrollment forms, with a goal of enrolling 100 students over two years. Students will activate business owners, whose activation will be tracked by the Community Engagement Coordinator. The Community Engagement Coordinator will also be responsible for tracking the number of community members activated in each Task Force, with a goal of 20 community members in total.
Successful activation will be defined by a community-driven process and murals made by and for local residents. Our vision of success also includes a widespread social media campaign that will activate Angelenos across the county to reach the goal of engaging 100,000 people.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
Nuestros Murales Unidos is only the beginning: in five years, we hope this project will inspire communities across Los Angeles to come together and revitalize their neighborhoods. We envision collaborative public art as a gateway to more community campaigns, led by engaged community leaders who received capacity-building training from Nuestros Murales Unidos. Students activated through our summer program will grow up with a sense of responsibility for their community and lead the drive for change. We hope that murals in Pico-Union and Westlake will make the neighborhoods as visually vibrant as the communities that live there. Residents will take pride in where they live and work together towards a shared vision of the future.
REGIONAL.LA: Delivering Community Engagement to Los Angeles County
REGIONAL.LA is a civic engagement tool that allows residents to find and connect with their civic community according to local geography: cities, neighborhoods, and service areas.
Promesa Boyle Heights at Proyecto Pastoral
Neighbor to neighbor: Empower Boyle Heights residents to help each other access wellness resources.
Improve health outcomes and social connectedness in Boyle Heights by empowering residents to conduct community outreach and education, so that their fellow neighbors can access wellness resources.