Bradenton, Fla. (September 25, 2012) – Keep Manatee Beautiful in partnership with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the School District of Manatee County is implementing that last part of its 2011-2012 Keep America Beautiful Graffiti Hurts Grant of $2,500, plus a grant match from Keep Manatee Beautiful of $2,500. They’ve teamed up to do School Art In Pride Park. Teachers and their student artists from five public schools in the Pride Park and Ten Oaks neighborhoods have designed art concepts of what their neighborhood means to them. Their goal is to beautify their neighborhood, so as to develop pride and sense of place reflective of their overall community’s quality of life.
Participating schools are Abel Elementary School, Daughtrey Elementary School, Oneco Elementary School, Harllee Middle School and Southeast High School. Gift certificates to restaurants and shops, plus a pizza party will be given to participating teachers and their student artists.
Southeast High School Visual Performing Arts began painting their concept on a graffiti-plagued white fence that runs parallel to 9th Street East just north of 63rd Avenue East last weekend on September 22th. Teacher Barbara Kenney and her students will finish painting their art concept tomorrow – Wednesday, September 26th.
The other schools will work to complete their art concepts on this white fence by National Night Out in Pride Park, an event scheduled for October 19th to reinforce confidence and promote ownership of their neighborhoods.
Other partners include the Manatee County Utilities Dept. Solid Waste-Recycling Section who donated 45 gallons of the paint that was collected at the landfill. Faith Bradburn Keller, an award winning artist and graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, painted last weekend abstract waves on every other section of this white fence to connect each school’s art concepts.
Other activities done with this 2011-2012 Keep America Beautiful Graffiti Hurts Grant have been:
· Purchasing painting supplies for graffiti paint-out days and community paintbrush murals that are rarely defaced by graffiti and instill a sense of pride among those who live nearby.
· Coordinating a Graffiti Hurts Poster Contest and displaying the poster art on bus bench backs near the participating schools.
· Purchasing water-wise trees across the street from this graffiti-plagued white fence.
· Purchasing supplies to educate youth gang members about a more productive lifestyle.
· Coordinating with community leaders to encourage their Neighborhood Watch Program and Intelligence submissions that play a critical role in fighting drugs.