Arts Commission and Department of Public Works Launch Where Art Lives
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: 415/252-4638 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Falvey, Department of Public Works
Tel: 415/554-6931 Email: email@example.com
THE SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF WHERE ART LIVES—AN INNOVATIVE GRAFFITI ARTS EDUCATION PILOT PROGRAM
The new curriculum aimed at educating youth about the negative impacts of graffiti will be implemented in six San Francisco Unified Schools during the 2009-2010 academic year.
SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2009 – Where Art Lives, a pilot program of the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) that focuses on graffiti arts education in grades 4th through 6th in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) will begin instruction in the fall of 2009 at Jean Parker Elementary School and Paul Revere Elementary School. Four additional SFUSD schools, including Mckinley, Bret Harte, Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Muir will begin coursework with urban artists on lessons and mural painting during the spring 2010 semester.
“With our very limited budget, it has been extremely difficult for the Arts Commission to respond to the unprecedented increase of graffiti and vandalism on the City’s public monuments over the last couple of years,” said Luis R. Cancel, director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission. “We are very excited about our partnership with the Department of Public Works on this innovative program, which will instill a sense of stewardship and pride for this City’s tremendous public art collection and re-channel the creativity of our youth towards more positive modes of urban expression.”
Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10, three 5th grade classes will participate in an assembly led by artist and community activist Cameron Moberg that will officially kick off the curriculum at Jean Parker Elementary. Moberg will teach a series of lessons that combine educational information about illegal vandalism and graffiti with positive artist-led activities. After the lessons are completed, the artist and students will design and create a mural for their school.
According to Mohammed Nuru, deputy director of the Department of Public Works, “I believe that people need places to express themselves creatively, but it should not be on other people’s property without permission. Teaching children the difference between art and vandalism at an early age will definitely have an impact on the amount of graffiti vandalism we see in our City.”
The Arts Commission developed and prepared the Where Art Lives curriculum to address the differences between public and private art, as well as the distinctions between approved and legal artwork and illegal graffiti. The consequences of illegal graffiti and the economic impact of tagging will be incorporated along with success stories of urban neighborhoods successfully overcoming graffiti vandalism and viewings of commissioned graffiti style murals.
About Cameron Moberg
Artist and community activist, Cameron Moberg attended high schools in San Francisco and San Carlos. He attended Skyline College in San Bruno and completed his B.A. degree at Patton University in Oakland. For most of the current decade he has been working in urban art mural production, training and mentoring youths and directing afterschool programs for ages 4 – 18 years. After high school experiences with illegal graffiti, he shifted to doing legal graffiti murals.
In the ongoing urban art program he runs at City Crossroads, Moberg makes a point of educating students about illegal and legal graffiti as well as the economic benefits of commissioned public art.
Moberg will be working with classrooms at Jean Parker and Paul Revere Schools to provide classroom and afterschool mural art-making related to education about visual arts skills, vandalism, graffiti and public art. He will also guide the students in design and creation of a mural for their school.