Photos by Frank Santangelo
Photo:New murals installed by Somerville Department of Public Works under the bridge by the Boathouse.
If you’ve ever driven down Mystic Ave., you’ve seen the results of this fantastic summer employment program for teens that combines hands-on environmental education with art.
Each year, professional muralist David Fichter and an environmental educator work with organizations, naturalists, and local historians from the surrounding community to develop a curriculum centered on an adventurous exploration of the Mystic River Watershed. Through this exploration a new theme emerges toward the development of new panels.
The mural project brings together an international community of youth living in Somerville. Mural participants have come from places such as El Salvador, Nigeria, Haiti, Vietnam, Brazil and the Ukrane. The youth often bring music and food from their country of origin to share while working on the mural.
The mural project generates interest from members of the surrounding community, inspiring them to share historical and environmental information about the River. A few people have written their doctoral thesis on the project.
In 1997, the Mural Project received a national award for excellence from American Rivers association in river education.
If you would like to follow this work or if you are an alumni of the program (we especially want to find our now young women and men who participated), it would be great if you become a group member through Facebook