Providence Youth Created a Mural Imagining More Public Fruit Trees and Housing, and Less Police“The mural was collectively designed to look like a park, which serves as a refuge for youth to feel safe and in community through playing, growing, and sharing resources,” said organizers.
Published on November 24, 2021
By Will James
Providence youth designed and painted a mural on Wickham Street for the project Painting In Strides, which was organized by RISD students Shreya Kaipa, Noah Bassman, and Noah Shipley. Students from PrYSM, the Providence Student Union, Movement Education Outdoors, DownCity Design, Project Open Door, and PVD Young Makers were paid for their work, with funding from the Providence Streets Coalition and a GoFundMe campaign.
The mural specifically mentions the Black Lives Matter movement and the Providence Student Union’s Counselors Not Cops campaign.
Painting was completed over two days in early November, but organizers held weekly workshops throughout the fall to find out which topics students wanted to include. Local restaurants donated food for these meetings. Organizer Shreya Kaipa said in a ribbon-cutting speech that “students opened up about personal stories and experiences related to urban pollution, inequitable tree cover, mental and physical health in public schools, food insecurity, access to menstrual products, and police and gun violence.” In that speech, she also stated that the project came from a desire to directly address unsafe streets, noting that ground murals can act as traffic calmers, which decrease car accidents.