Students of Albizu Campos High School were featured by WBEZ in response to the mural, “Today is Tomorrow”, a project led by Artist in Residence, Brenda Torres Figueroa.
A new mural in Humboldt Park sets a lofty goal for a city that just had its most violent month on record in nearly 20 years: “0 Shots, 0 Killed Today in Chicago.”
The stark message, which appears on a 20-foot by 20-foot black wall in bright white letters, is part of a project called ‘Today Is Tomorrow,’ created by students at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.
“I thought of the idea after seeing crime statistics at the bottom of the TV screen every day,” said Ivan Valenzuela, one of the students who conceived and painted the mural. “I thought, ‘let’s put our own statistic out there.’”
Valenzuela said he doesn’t expect those responsible for Chicago’s rising homicide rates to see the mural and drop their guns. But he hopes that by putting a concise, direct message in a public space, people might think twice.
“I want them to think about what they’re doing,” he said. “The choice of having that statistic up there, and to think if you want it to be a dream or a reality. Any effect it has or any emotional attachment people have with it — that’s all in their hands.”
According to Danette Sokacich, principal of the high school, the mural was created using a grant from the Cook County Justice Advisory Council that was earmarked for student use in creating anti-violence campaigns.