Esperanza To Dedicate Mural by Latina Artist and Students in Partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia
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Philadelphia, PA – April 28, 2017. Founder, President and CEO of Esperanza, Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr. will join Jane Golden, Founder and Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia to celebrate the unveiling and dedication of a new mural at Esperanza Academy Charter School created by Latina artist Patty Barrera.
“The overall goal of this project was to foster identity, promote self-awareness, encourage communal development, present opportunities for positive social and individual growth, nurture artistic growth and exploration, and encourage development of a personal voice,” Barrera said.
The mural, “Sembrando Sueños, Cosechando Esperanza” (“Planting Dreams, Harvesting Hope”), was funded by The William Penn Foundation which supported Mural Arts Philadelphia’s two-year Arts Integration Partnership at Esperanza Academy from 2015-2017. It included the participation of 20 student artists from the school who helped conceptualize what “Esperanza” meant to them. Through a variety of art activities, conducted as part of a larger curriculum, students and artist Barrera explored how factors such as race, religion and family shape a person’s identity.
“Esperanza and the Hunting Park community are thrilled to have this opportunity to celebrate the new mural on our campus,” Rev Luis Cortés Jr. said. “This represents a significant moment for all of us, as one more step in the revitalization and beautification of our neighborhood, made possible through our partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia. This mural demonstrates how cultural representation through artwork can inspire our youth and transform the landscape of our neighborhood.”
The mural will be dedicated at a special celebration on Wednesday, May 10 at 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the parking lot of Esperanza’s campus located at 4261 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140. The celebration will include performances by the Esperanza Dance Ensemble, Choir, and String Orchestra, as well as remarks by elected officials.
“At Mural Arts, we believe that art should be an essential component of every young person’s education, and fully integrated into the curriculum,” said Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “We are thrilled to work with great partners like Esperanza to bring gorgeous projects like this one to life, and to help students harness their creative potential.”
According to Barrera, the flowers represent each of the national flowers of each one of the nationalities of the students at Esperanza, among the flowers there are several birds symbolizing love, growth, goodness and freedom; and the portraits represent the Esperanza students, the boy holds a small seedling symbol of change, growth and hope while the fearless girl looks up to the optimistic future, both proud of their heritage and who they are.
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Esperanza is a national community-based organization founded in 1987 by Rev. Luis Cortés and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity with the biblical mandate to serve and advocate for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). Beginning with a local initiative, with programs targeted to address the unmet needs of North Philadelphia’s Hispanic community, Rev. Cortes is now sought by national and international leaders alike on issues of economic and workforce development, housing, immigration, and education. Under his leadership, Esperanza has grown from a small 20-person operation to a $40 million organization with more than 350 employees. Follow us on social media @esperanza_us on Twitter and Instagram, EsperanzaUSA on Facebook and Esperanza US on YouTube. For more information, please visit www.esperanza.us.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to understanding with projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world, and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation. For more information, call 215-685-0750 or visit muralarts.org. Follow us on social media: @muralarts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.
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