Chicago, IL July 29, 2016—at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS), located in Humboldt Park, students have multiple opportunities to interpret the effects of violence in their daily lives inside and outside the classrooms. As a proactive effort students have been engaged this summer in the development of a community mural to call attention on the issue of the violence experienced in Chicago and offer a creative alternative for people all ages to reflect upon. The public art piece titled ‘Today is Tomorrow’ will be unveiling on Friday, August 5th, 2016 at 4pm, at the former Ashland Sausage Building on 2715 W Division St., on the heart of Paseo Boricua. This 20′ long mural inspired by the billboard aesthetics present a powerful message of how words can impact an outcome, actions and the possibilities of a better and peaceful future. This project organized interdisciplinary artist Brenda Torres-Figueroa during her role of art teacher at PACHS was possible by the support of a mini-seed grant from the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, under the Violence Prevention, Intervention and Reduction. The purpose of this grant is to reduce the risk of youth involvement in violence as the victim or perpetrator of violence. The students responsible for the creation of the mural became avid and critical scholars deepening their thoughts in concepts such as: violence as epidemic, sharing mediate violence, inherited violence, and cultural awareness as a form of civic engagement. They also enhanced their construction skills during the process. The last portion of the project includes their participation in cultural events and exploring how social media can be transformed by youth empowering others, this will include a photo essay and their reflections of their experience. This project has been also possible with the support and contribution of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, and its Executive Director José López. PACHS is located at 2739-41 W Division St. For more information about this project visit: https://www.facebook.com/
todayistomorrow2016/ or www.pachs-chicago.org.