Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celebrating PLACE in Tucson
: Young Artists Creating Messages of Hope, Beauty and Community

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Tucson Arts Brigade and Sun Tran in collaboration with the Jim & Vicki Click Boys & Girls Club are proud to unveil a series of posters created by Tucson youth that seek to inspire civic engagement and responsibility.

Led by Tucson Arts Brigade staff, young artists at the Jim & Vicki Click Boys & Girls Club created dozens of works of art that describe their challenges, hopes and aspirations.  The artistic design process started with youth speaking with local community leaders about neighborhood issues and what was important to people living around the clubhouse.  The youth selected a number of themes ranging from bullying, graffiti and littering to eating healthy and protecting our desert eco-system. 

Original artwork was created to address these themes and Tucson Arts Brigade staff transformed the artwork into posters. Eight posters were selected to be displayed inside the Sun Tran buses traveling throughout the Tucson region.  In addition, all of the posters will be displayed at various locations around the city, and will be available for sale to raise funds for Tucson Arts Brigade’s community-driven youth art programs.

Many of the youth helped create two TAB murals in and around the JVC Boys & Girls Club.  “These youth are now expanding their sphere of influence by going citywide”, said Michael B. Schwartz, Executive Director of the Tucson Arts Brigade.  “The PLACE Program engages youth in an artistic process immersed in community issues with the goal of turning taggers into stewards.”  All youth in the program sign a No Tagging Pledge where they commit to be leaders and caretakers of their communities.

The PLACE Project is part of the 4R Community Coalition’s multi-year efforts to improve life in the 29th Street Area. The 29th Street Area includes the five neighborhoods of Julia Keen, Myers, Alvernon Heights, Roberts and Naylor.  This area had for years been plagued with high crime rates, graffiti, and neighborhood blight, but has been much improved through community-wide collaboration and neighborhood activism.  Tucson Arts Brigade has been a part of these efforts, providing positive community-building programs that engage everyone in beautifying the places where they live and work. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson provides programs, professional staff and a safe environment to assist youth in developing self-esteem, values and skills.  The organization operates six clubhouses in Tucson serving over 8,000 youth age 7-17.

This project has been made possible by support from the Puffin Foundation, Pantano Christian Church, PRO Neighborhoods, the Tucson Pima Arts Council PLACE Initiative, and Friends of Tucson Arts Brigade.

For more information:, (520) 623-2119

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