“Food Bazaar, the owner contacted us, just a cold call, and said they have these locations in working class neighborhoods all across New York City that they would love to do murals on, and we said, “How about topics like teen pregnancy, the prison industrial complex and driving while intoxicated? They said sure,” said Groundswell Founder and Executive Director Amy Sananman while visiting the site for a community painting day on Fri., Aug 1. “They’ve just been amazing partners who say, if this is something that the community supports then we’re happy to support.”
Groundswell is concurrently creating eight mural projects around the city, three of which are Food Bazaar sites.
Groundswell Youth Media Council representative Sammi Chan explained that her team, lead by artists Crystal Bruno and Lauren Baccus, chose to focus on the issue of teen pregnancy because, “It’s a fairly large issue around America and New York City.”
“Our theme for this mural is not only teen pregnancy but female empowerment,” she added.
Her colleague Keyla Rijo said, “We didn’t really want to glorify the whole situation with teen pregnancy, but we did want to put it in the spotlight, especially how people are shaming [teens who get pregnant] when they should be supporting them. I think that’s what this mural is really about.”
As the team of young women in charge of the project made significant progress, it is scheduled to be completed sometime near the beginning of September.
*Correction: The print version of this article identified Sammi Chan as Sammi Chen.