MAPIT Program Beautifies KC Parks Community Centers

MAPIT Program Beautifies KC Parks Community Centers

mapitTwo mural projects have recently been installed in KC Parks Community Centers as part of the MAPIT (Mural Arts Program Inspiring Transformation) program. MAPIT is an innovative program centered on the belief that art has the power to serve as an agent for benevolent social change.

Mother Winter, by artist Phil “Sike” Shafer and his apprentice has been installed in KC North Community Centers. The mural covers approximately 280 square feet of an interior wall of the community center.  Mr. Shafer is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and implements mural projects to transform bland surfaces with colorful, positive and uplifting imagery.  A reception and official unveiling took place on April 10.

Coming Home to Brush Creek, by artist Robin Case and her apprentice has been installed at Brush Creek Community Center. The mural covers approximately 350 square feet of an interior wall of the community center.  In addition to creating interior murals, Ms. Chase also teaches.  She has taught workshops through Synergy House, Kansas City Young Audiences, and Grandview High School. A reception and offical unveiling will take place on April 20.

With leadership from Councilman Scott Wagner’s office, MAPIT is a growing collaborative coalition of community organizations including the KCMO Municipal Art Commission, KC Parks, Mattie Rhodes, ArtsTech, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Full Employment Council, the KCMO School District and others.

Community-based art projects are inherent social change agents and the benefits of creating a mural through an active, progressive experience with a rigorous, mentor based curriculum are significant. Creating Community-based art in the public realm often provides community healing, inspiration, education, and mutual understanding―culminating in a higher sense of appreciation, respect for oneself and community.

Community Benefits

  • Deter and mitigate tagging and unwanted graffiti
  • Unite artists and communities through collaborative process
  • Increased awareness about unique neighborhood and individual culture
  • Beautification

Youth Enrichment

  • Art Education
  • Personal and professional development
  • Personal growth and leadership
  • Positive self-expression and self esteem
  • Sense of ownership – Respect for self, peers and community
  • Job opportunity
  • Real-world professional skills and experience for future endeavors

Skill Building
Not only will the youth research and learn about community themes for inspiration, the new muralists will learn the nuts and bolts of proper mural technique: how designing a mural differs from designing a painting, proper use of painting tools, working with acrylic paint, color mixing, composition, gridding and scaling a drawing. A mural project also teaches teamwork, cooperative learning, healthy conflict resolution, compromise, public presentation skills, research skills, self-promotion, and community outreach.

Themes and Topics
Through community input, murals are often based upon a range of themes and topics related to community culture and related impact; both positive and negative. Among many, topics range from improving social and communal needs, unique place-making, history, diversity, memorializing and just plain fun.