Program Highlight: 1,000 Words

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. And, for the young people at the Fairfield Court Club, they’ve brought that saying to life.

Members of the 1,000 Words interest club and Ms. Abby stand with their finished mural

Members of the 1,000 Words interest club and Ms. Abby stand with their finished mural

This past spring, members of the 1,000 Word interest club read the inspirational poem “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. They discussed the poem and its meaning, with each member expressing how the words made them feel. They also talked about how they could bring the words to life.

To gain inspiration and learn about the art of murals, the group visited the “Fresh Paint: Murals Inspired by the Story of Virginia” exhibit of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Then, guided by local artist, Sarah Apple, the group embarked on several brainstorming sessions for the creation of their own mural.

“We discussed how to brainstorm big ideas - creating a big doodle page to help build a visual representation of a concept. I also showed them how to take a small drawing and enlarge it to a bigger canvas with a projector,” said Sarah.

They all agreed upon the poem written inside of a light bulb, emanating rainbow rays of light, and got to work painting the mural.

The mural now proudly hangs in the Club, providing inspiration to all young people.

“The poem really represents Boys & Girls Clubs. A lot of people don’t be themselves and this let’s them know it’s okay to be themselves,” said Rocquel, 11, who worked on the mural. “We’re all meant to shine, just like the light bulb.”

The aim of all programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond is to engage members, create a space for youth voice and bolster social and emotional learning. Through this member-led creation of a mural, young people shared honest dialogue about social justice issues and the effects on their lives and community. They learned how to express feeling and emotions through art and conversation. They discovered how to present their work in a thoughtful manner and discuss the meaning behind the words. They also built skills such as planning and teamwork.

“They did a really amazing job putting their ideas together and working together to create this mural,” said Abby Mendez, a program instructor. “It’s also given them a sense of ownership. They are so proud of what they’ve done and continue to show it off to the other members and anyone who comes to the Club.”

 Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond is making a difference in the lives of young people every day. With your support, we can continue developing young people who empowered to use their voice. Learn more about ways to support our work.