This project began in the summer of 2018, as a part of the “Northside Safe and Thriving Communities Initiative” through The City of Madison. Artists painted with young people at Warner Park and Vera Court summer events and gathered ideas for the large mural design. This process extended into the school year with weekly engagements at Sherman Middle School, Shabazz High School, Vera Court Neighborhood Center and Warner Park as youth developed painting skills and created the design you see here.

This summer, through generous support from The City of Madison, The American Girl Fund for Children, and Evjue Foundation - The Charitable Arm of the Capital Times, Northside youth worked alongside artists in the DAMA Summer Institute. During this 7 week program 10 youth participants painted this landmark mural as they learned artistic techniques, job readiness skills and lead paint events in their community. The paints were donated by Hallman Lindsay Paints.

This design - a beautiful King Protea flower bursting through the rubble, thriving in harsh conditions alongside the compass rose pointing north to guide and celebrate home. The rubble represents the hardships - violence, addiction, housing insecurity, racism, job insecurity. The vibrant flower stands for diversity, courage and strength; the strong roots grow, thrive and break through the hardship as a powerful symbol of hope.