A freshly completed mural now sits at Universal Cutts Barbershop on Main Street in Woonsocket. The mural highlighting the city’s historic architecture was completed with the brushstrokes of dozens of participants in “Cre8 Woonsocket,” which took place on Saturday, March 25th. The community paint project was hosted by Shanikqua Dandy and Sering Matarr Mbye and funded through NeighborWorks’ Creative Placemaking Initiative.
Dandy and Mbye got the idea for the project when they saw how community paint nights were attracting crowds in cities across the country, and decided to bring the trend to Woonsocket. Both hosts are actively engaged in the Woonsocket community, working both in the arts and with youth programs. Their aim with “Cre8 Woonsocket” was to generate excitement in the local community around art, with a particular focus on engaging youth.
Participants gathered in the basement of the recently redeveloped building at 40 South Main Street (formerly Mulvey’s Hardware) for the afternoon to complete 36 small canvasses that were then arranged into a larger 6′ x 6′ mural.
Dandy considers “Cre8 Woonsocket” to have been a great success, with the 70+ in attendance having had all the canvasses painted by the end of the five hour event. A goal for the event was to use art as a basis for community engagement, and attendees represented a broad range of ages and cultural backgrounds.
Creative Placemaking is an initiative to support arts and culture in downtown Woonsocket. The initiative is generously sponsored by LISC RI and the Kresge Foundation. Organizations that place a high value in the power of art to build community and believe in creative and artistic solutions to today’s most pressing problems. More information about our Creative Placemaking and how to propose a project can be found here.