“Positive Productivity,” New Mural Unveiled in Parkway Gardens

Ten high school students created a new mural unveiled in Parkway Gardens. Through After School Matters and in partnership with the Related Affordable Foundation, the students made the mural project as part of ASM’s #BeautifyYourCommunity mural program.

The three murals, titled “Positive Productivity,” were designed by local artist Erick “Roho” Garcia and represented growth and optimism.¬†¬†Garcia worked with the teens over the summer to create the murals. “The silhouette of trees arranged throughout the design represents the beauty of nature and are symbols of individual growth as well as growth in the community,” said Garcia.

With a grant to After School Matters, the Related Affordable Foundation supported the creation of the new mural. The #BeautifyYourCommunity mural program helped teenagers develop their experience and gain the confidence needed to sketch, paint and complete the murals. After School Matters supports Chicago students year-round with safe and supportive activities outside of school.

On Sept. 21, the mural dedication featured words from Related Midwest President Curt Bailey, artist Erick “ROHO” Garcia, and After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron. In addition, teens involved in the mural creation spoke to the confidence the experience provided them and how much fun they had in the process.

The Related Affordable Foundation has also collaborated with After School Matters at Parkway Gardens on the Peacemakers program, which empowers Chicago students to fight violence and build a community where they live by designing and carrying out service projects to meet their neighbors’ needs.

Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.

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