What WEEFC Means to Weston Schools – Social Justice Mural

Mural project art, Olivia Yang, WHS student

Two weeks ago, the Owl broke the story that the dearth of donations to the Weston Education Enrichment Fundraising Committee is risking new opportunities and learning experiences getting funded at Weston public schools. Without a significant upswing in donations, requested grants cannot be given: there is simply no money for them. WEEFC is in its final week of the campaign, with very little change to the amount of donations.

Today the Owl takes a look at one of the grants that were given this year, in this case for a high school art project. Jake Ginga of Field School submitted the grant request but was unavailable to comment for this post. This information is from the grant application, the mural project submission to the Rail Trail contest, and from feedback from Julie Hom-Mandell, art teacher at the high school.

The WEEFC grant supported the creation of a social justice-themed art mural. In class, the students learned to showcase various social justice themes as well as learned about the power of street art. Students became more aware of how the visual arts can make a positive impact in becoming creative civic leaders.

Thirty-nine students were involved in this grant– Ms. Hom-Mandell’s Art 2, 3 and 4 classes. The students visually responded to the question of “What does FREEDOM mean to you?”. Discussions in the classroom (Remote Learning Academy and in-person students) included questions of what social responsibilities, actions and mindset can we illustrate to become better Allies? An Ally was defined as a person who is not a member of a marginalized or mistreated group but who expresses or gives support to that group) How can we create a more inclusive and just world?

According to the teachers, the questions sparked some amazing creative breakthroughs. Examples of these creative designs are included here. The students created mural designs that included their own personal concepts of freedom, of social justice, and ways to make the world better. Through each student’s individual lens, a mural design was created that captured 14 voices and 14 different ways of representing their ideas. One mural, 14 voices, limitless reach.

The mural designs were submitted for the mural contest for both walls of the Church Street or Concord Road bridges on Weston’s portion of the rail trail, and the group will find out on April 1 if they move along in the selection process. If they are not selected, the group is hoping that they can find another indoor or outdoor space for their mural (possibly at one of the schools).

Support WEEFC and our students (and social justice art)

1. Venmo (@WEEFC-Weston)

2. Online at westonschools.org/education-enrichment-fund-committee-weefc

3. Check payable to Town of Weston — WEEFC, mailed to WEEFC, 89 Wellesley St., Weston, MA 02493

WEEFC donations are tax-deductible.

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