The Utility Box Art Project, is the next of our 2009 grant recipients and is a guided collaboration and mentorship program, pairing artists with youth to design and create murals on utility boxes. The team first conducts a neighborhood mapping process in which the artist and youth study neighborhood issues and gather input from residents. The youth interview a broad range of locals to further their understanding of the community and the theme. After an issue is selected, the youth and artist hold story-gathering workshops – including the new on-site component – in which community members contribute images, words and ideas to support the development of the final artwork.
Each project concludes with a community celebration that coincides with an important local event. The celebration provides the opportunity for the community to gather to support its success, to connect to each other and to acknowledge the work of the artists (youth and mentors) and community members who created the work. Audience members include visitors
from other Los Angeles neighborhoods, who come to experience the final artistic creations.