Welcome to “See Yourself in the Story,” a collaboration between Thrive and PS 185 that aimed to reimagine classic characters so that they represented the more diverse community of Bay Ridge. Made possible by NYC Council Member Vincent Gentile and the Cultural Immigrant Initiative, the mural is for all of the different people who now call Bay Ridge home.
Kathy Pitkoff, a longtime Thrive partner and frequent volunteer at PS 185, saw the inclusion of the Statue of Liberty as a way for the mural to welcome all to the schoolyard.
“I think the really great thing about murals is that, you know, they obviously attract people’s attention. People are inclined to come closer and take a closer look and then you start seeing things. You know, even as this one evolved, certainly things have been added along the way that weren’t there in the initial drawing but even just hearing Mikaela talk about the different cultures that are being represented- you know, when you first look at it, you might not even notice it… you know as it changes over the next few weeks it’ll probably become more obvious but also that somebody thought “Well, I want this story character to reflect who I am.” The stories are for everyone and anyone can be in the stories but it’s interesting how the depictions make us think of them in a particular way… I think now having the statue of liberty in this one, there’s more of a statement. I think originally she was going to be a sunset, but then she turned into the statue of liberty, which I think is better… The mural is the reality of what’s happening here whether the people in the neighborhood like it or not because that’s a statement in itself- saying this is what it is. People came here for something better than what they had; this is always the case.”