CITYarts engages youth and professional artists in the creation of public art, including murals and mosaic. Through this creative process, CITYarts empowers, educates, and connects youth and children locally and around the world to become active participants in realizing their potential and transforming communities.
Buzz AldrinFormer NASA Astronaut
“I think the future is in the hands of our young people to make better lives for themselves and for those around us. And we can set examples and tell them what we are proud of that we have done. And I’m very proud to have been in a position, in a fortunate position to do some wonderful things in my life, so I like to share those with young people here and to maybe help their education, whatever their pathway in life may be.”
Leland MelvinNASA Astronaut / CITYarts Honoree
“Visiting the Peace Wall in Harlem was one of the highlights of my trip. It was fascinating to learn and see first-hand how the mosaics were designed. The Wall truly reflects your work to build bridges of cultural understanding to bring peace and brilliance to communities. Interacting with the children at the Community Center was also such a memorable experience. Listening to what our future explorers have to say is always eye-opening, not to mention motivating!
Vartan GregorianPresident of Carnegie Corporation of New York / CITYarts Honoree
"Please allow me to thank you once again for honoring me at your 45th anniversary celebration. It is I who should thank you for your continued commitment to the arts and peace. It was a great evening. I think that the brick with my portrait by the Stuyvesant High School students may be one of the best mementos I have received."
JaredStudent, Age 13
“I like everything about the mural. It is very creative because one part of it, I see it has a bridge, and on another part of it I see has people on it that are supposed to represent [each student participant’s] nation. I see that they drew a rocket ship and it has a rover next to it. So it is supposed to be picture of the rocket ship that just landed on Mars in August.”
Macques ThomasGroundworks at Good Shepherd Services Program / Director at P. S. 328
“In a neighborhood like this, where there is a lot of poverty, a lot of single parent families, we work with average kids. And the opportunity for them to do things – that’s what our program is about. We try to get them to do things they’ve never done before, to give them hope, to take them to places where they’ve never been before. And, you know, with them doing this, which is totally something that they don’t do on regular basis, it’s big on their ownership. Having this in the community, them owning it, and just being proud of this, and being able to say, ‘This is what we did.’”
“I started to do some doodles and sketches and came up with the idea of this curious man spreading his arms and looking at the world. But it was more like a doodle, so I didn't really think it would work for the wall. However, Tsipi has this vision and she said, "Why don't we combine your curious man with the pictures created by the children from around the world and place them in the spaces between the faces which act as windows." That's really how this design came together. The ideas of the children are the best...but there were so many of them that we had to come up with some sort of drawing or design to combine as many as we could together on the Peace Wall. ”
Antonia SingletonFrederick Douglass High School
"As the kids within the neighborhood grow up they can have something to look at and enjoy rather than looking at graffiti or defaced walls. I feel that the mosaic brings a great deal of positive energy to the neighborhood. I enjoyed working on the piece; now I can actually show people how I have physically contributed to my community. The best thing about this project is how the entire community was involved in building it. A product of the environment, the CITYarts mosaic will continue to be a symbol of growth, unity, and stability in our neighborhoods."
Saba ZamanThe Lyceum School, Karachi, Pakistan
"The mosaic was a refreshing experience, an experience which makes you proud of yourself. It makes you realize that there is so much you can do for this world and makes you feel proud of it. It makes me proud because I contributed towards making my country better looking and beautiful and maybe what I did was not even a drop in the bucket – but it still counts. It has affected me in a very strange way – it has made me think about things other than myself."
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