This project has many components, ranging from the in depth first hand writings of Safe Park Co-Founder Anthony Potter, endless videos posted by Safe Park Co-Founder Jon McLane, the Safe Park in downtown Tucson, and the Right 2 Dream Center in south Tucson, where the murals are located.
What is inspiring about the Dream Center approach is working with a group of people have come together, equipped only with people power, to combine our talents and start building solutions. The arts are a critical part of this process. We are collaborating with groups like the I Have a Name Project, Community Built Shelters, Right 2 Dream Center and Central City Assembly (CCA) http://centralcityonline.org/ to transform empty lots into safe spaces, places to eat, garden, sleep and keep belongings. To be a part of the Right 2 Dream camp requires members participate in upkeep of the area, a series of rules including no violence, weapons, drugs or alcohol. Members sign up for work shifts to feed hundreds of people, security for houseless peoples at the various safe parks, construction and clean up. If you see a person in a light blue shirt that says “Dreamer” give them a thumbs up, even better stop, introduce yourself and ask how you can help. This movement is about much more than people who are houseless, it’s about social alienation, a society that provides too few noble pathways out of poverty, a lack of wisdom, compassion or understanding of the dynamics of being house-less. These are complex issues that take a community to understand and solve.
On October 16 muralist from the Tucson Arts Brigade gathered at the CCA to create the first in a series of murals for the Safe Park Dream Center. The murals were created during a day long regional forum on Houselessness that included speakers, music, conversation and lots of food.
The process featured long time muralist Jos Villabrille who is a freelance artist with more than 30 years professional experience. Jos was accompanied by artist’s Sowmya Ghosh and Michael Schwartz . Additional murals created by youth in the Tucson Arts Brigade ACE’s program are in progress in the parking lot area.
The Regional Forum on Homelessness is the follow up event to the February Community Forum: Panel Discussion on Homelessness at the Pima County Library, hosted by Safe Park, LLC. Panel guests and Regional Ambassadors spoke of their respective segments of homeless services, the laws and policies that pertain to homelessness. Each give an 8 minute power point presentations on the alternative services they provide in their locations, fielded questions, and explained ways to get involved or replicate efforts.
Regional Ambassadors included;
- Ibrahim Mubarik of Portland, OR and Founder, Dignity Village and Right 2 Dream too
- Leo Rhodes of Seattle, WA and Co-Founder, S.H.A.R.E. Wheel;
- Travis Hysell of Salt Lake City, UT and Co-Founder of the Legacy Initiative;
- Jon Linton, Phoenix, AZ, Founder, The I Have A Name Project.
- Pastor Dave Ferrari of our own Tucson Central City Assembly;
- Bryan Flagg, Director of Casa Maria,
- Michael Kieth, CEO, Downtown Tucson Partnership,
- Carl Sammartino, Lawyer, Cooper/ McLane v. City of Tucson
- Melissa Hager, Founder of The Tribe-Tucson.
The Regional Forum on Homelessness was hosted and moderated by Safe Park Director, Jon McLane. Musical guests was reggae group Planet Jam. Sponsors for the Regional Forum on Homelessness was provided by Casa Maria, Central City Assembly, Tucson Bus Riders Union, Downtown Tucson Partnership, Tucson Arts Brigade and the Tucson USDAC Field Office.
“Moving towards the Sun”
When I think about Migration, the first image that comes to mind is that of the monarch butterfly. Few animals inspire the same devotion to migration as the monarch butterfly. Their 3000-mile migration from Canada to Mexico and back to the Gulf coast states has served as one of nature’s greatest mysteries. However, the rise in wildfires, drought, logging, climate change and the drastic loss of their milkweed habitat have all contributed to the falling number of monarch butterflies. Their population is disappearing at an alarming rate so much so that political leaders across the US, Canada and Mexico are coming together to help rebuild ideal habitats for these sun painted butterflies. Despite the several struggles, the migratory habits of monarchs continue to fascinate scientists particularly because it is a story of resilience. Along the same vein, human migration over the years has been a similar story to that of the famous butterfly. People shift to greener pastures for a variety of reasons ranging from poverty, economic gain, marriage and/or education etc. The continued movement of people has shifted the design and capacity of our modern day infrastructure so much so that it seems overwhelming.
This mural aims to capture the movement (migration) of animal species (monarch as the example) and human migratory aspirations as an ongoing natural conflict. It also seeks to convey the need to bridge (as illustrated in the mural) the disconnect between nature and human activities that create potentially damaging effects on our ecosystem. Set over the backdrop of Tucson’s fiery sunset, monarch butterflies are on the move. From their wings is a young woman on a swing who looks ahead to a city far away from her as she dreams of better days.
- Sowmya Ghosh Mural Statement
To Participate in this Project:
- Come up with an idea or concept for the project. Surfaces might include park walls, shelters, tents, banners, flags and other objects we get permission to paint. Themes: Utopia, Displaced, Urban Nomads, Migration, Homeless
- Create a jpeg of your images or ideas.
- Include your contact information and short email of your willingness to participate in the project.
- Include a short bio, a website and a profile image in you have them.
- Materials: Provide as many of your own materials as you can, we will help you fill in the gaps. We will prep the walls and apply a final top coat.
- Send to: Info@TucsonArtsBrigade.org