New Yorkers Are Revitalizing Their Community, One Paint Stroke At A Time

Welcome to Brownsville, Brooklyn.

In Brownsville, Brooklyn residents are uniting to revitalize their community through an attention-grabbing, collaborative art project. 

"Any successful life begins with creativity and determination," the video Groundswell Transform/Restore: Brownsville begins. 

Groundswell is an organization dedicated to using art and personal expression to help build communities and promote social change.

Together with the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District and the NYC Department of Probation, The Brownsville Initiative looks to "change the visual identity of the community" and to "engage the participation of some of the hardest to reach community members." 

This includes teens and young adults on probation.

With this encouragement, teens and young adults can feel better about their community. Then, they're more inclined to inspire other residents to feel the same.

"A lot of people can't express themselves verbally... but creating art gets a lot of people to really see what you're going though," Davin, one of the youth artists explains.

Artists featured in the video explain the initiative builds confidence, makes people feel proud of what they've created, and it makes them feel like they're actually making a difference.

"Most people probably just look at it like we're just painting a picture on the wall. I wanted to paint this picture and make a difference. I want people to stop, and look at it," youth artist Massiah says.

The murals also represent a positive, hopeful future for those involved.

Daniel Murphy, the Executive Director of Pitkin Avenue, says the murals present imagery unlike anything the community has seen in over 20 years.

"[Instead of] a wall with bricked up windows, they're seeing opportunities. They're seeing something that isn't there. That's vision," Murphy says in the video.

With 8,000 square feet of walls already painted in Brownsville (and counting), the hope is this movement will only continue to inspire positivity within the community and beyond.


Now, check out these images of some of the murals.

(H/T: Upworthy)