This spring, thanks to a grant from Council Member Rosie Mendez and support from Abounding Grace Ministries, University Settlement, and SONYC, we completely re-did our very first Dream Walls school mural project from 2007, increasing the total number of columns and wall surfaces by 40%. Many of the same artists returned, including DURO CIA, Toofly, Kekoa, and Lorena Barrezueta Carlo, along with new additions Claw and Thrive’s teaching artist / art director Nico Collazo. Together with dozens of middle school students and community volunteers, they crushed it, completing six distinct mural projects on 15 walls, columns, and other surfaces.
Dream Walls 2.0 (2017)
The original Dream Walls came about because a Lower East Side youth center called Generation Xcel received a grant to help beautify PS/MS 34, the public K-8 school across the street that fed students into its after school and summer camp programs. Street art legend NYC LASE agreed to art direct the project, which also featured contributions from DURO CIA, Toofly, Kekoa, Lorena Barrezueta, and Red1.
Ten years ago, the Dream Walls were a fun one-off from Generation Xcel’s primary programs. In 2011, they inspired the Welcome to PS 102 mural collaboration, then Coney Island’s Resilience Mural at PS 329 after Hurricane Sandy, and ultimately Thrive Collective’s School Murals visual arts programs today.