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Mural completed at Boston Community Leadership Academy

April 3, 2018

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The mural features a diverse group of young people taking part in a variety of activities, including reading, skateboarding, eating lunch, and playing basketball.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Boston Public Schools, today announced the Mayor’s Mural Crew has completed a mural at Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park. 

Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA) was the first traditional school to convert to pilot status in the Boston Public Schools system, and is uniquely focused on preparing students to be both college ready and community leaders. It serves an economically and culturally diverse student population in grades 9 to 12.

Part of the Boston Community Leadership Academy mural

“It’s very exciting to see such a diverse school celebrated and recognized in this way,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to seeing how this project inspires the students of BCLA to be creative in their own endeavors, and be leaders in their communities.” 

21.4 percent of the school’s student body are classified as having special needs, and BCLA houses the largest autism strand of high school students in the district. The school’s PATH program serves a number of students with emotional impairments. BCLA also has a large population of English as a Second Language (ESL) students, with 34 percent of the student body identifying as English Learners or Former English Learners. 

Part of the Boston Community Leadership Academy mural

Heidi Schork, Director of the Mayor’s Mural Crew, led the project with two assistants, Connor Woods and Jerome Jones. Students were invited to take part in the process while on their lunch breaks.

“There are some ESL students who are very quiet and timid because they’re learning English,” said Dr. Francine Locker, Headmaster of Boston Community Leadership Academy. “But with this mural project I saw them over here painting, I heard them singing, they were having real dialogues with Heidi. It’s just been really refreshing to see them feel a sense of comfort and to see joy.”

The mural features a diverse group of young people taking part in a variety of activities, including reading, skateboarding, eating lunch, and playing basketball. Several of the figures represented in the mural were based off of current BCLA students.

Part of the Boston Community Leadership Academy mural

“This lovely collaboration advances the goal of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan, which is to cultivate a city where all cultural traditions and expressions are respected, promoted, and equitably resourced, and where opportunities to engage with arts and culture are accessible to all,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. 

This is the last project by the Mayor’s Mural Crew under the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. This summer the mural crew will be moving to a new space within the City’s Parks and Recreation department, where they will be able to expand their offerings and to work with youth to create public art all over the city. 

To learn more about the BCLA mural, watch the video here

Watch: Boston Community Leadership Academy mural video
Credit: Arts and Culture