We were delighted to have Councilmember Brad Lander join us for our Mural Dedication on Friday 4/28, to celebrate the completion of our stunning mural.
Through a Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) grant made possible by Councilmember Lander, Brooklyn Collaborative was able to partner with Groundswell to bring two gifted artists to work with our students in the Groundswell Mural Club to use art as a tool for social change.
The Groundswell Mural Club took their sketches from the pages to the walls of 4th floor stairwell and transformed the space into a kaleidoscope of warm hues and pictures that tell a story and capture the mission and vision of Brooklyn Collaborative: we are crew, not passengers.
The mural focuses on Brooklyn Collaborative’s core values and the function of “crew” inside and outside of school. Each wall depicts a scene of a “crew” working together in different stages, literally and symbolically. The first panel is the building of the boats, the stage in which students come together to help the crew get into water. This is a metaphor alluding to the ground work done by students, crew leaders, staff, families, and communities to build the foundational tools/space needed to succeed (think all-Crew days, Camping Orientation, Intensives, and more).
Once the boats are sturdy, the “crew” works to navigate the waters and obstacles one might encounter in and outside of school. The second panel of the mural showcases students actively collaborating, a visual alignment to our motto “we are crew, not passengers”. The “sea of school” is comprised of the building blocks that give students opportunities to show persistence, courage and responsibility to their own learning (think PBATs, Student-Led Conferences, HOWLs, and more).
Finally the third panel showcases the “crew” finding themselves outside of school in a larger body of water. The open sea represents the world outside of the school, both in a physical sense (think Internships, College March, and more), but also to symbolically represent life after graduation. A hand holding a shining light at the top of a staircase built from our core values represents the support students have at Brooklyn Collaborative, which will also help them post-graduation down all the paths they may take in life.
When you’re next in the building at 610 Henry Street, please take a long look at our beautiful 4th floor stairwell mural! THANK YOU, student artists, Groundswell staff, and Councilmember Brad Lander! We are crew.