It’s been almost a two-year process since AHC first engaged Hoover elementary students in the Self as Super Hero curriculum. These young people collectively reinvented themselves as super heroes to creatively solve some of our community’s biggest problems. Two 3rd grade classes, an approximate 50 kids, with the help of teachers Ms. Lau and Ms. Lynch spent weeks in small groups and developed 8 Super Hero characters. From there, with the help of Creative Originator Amana Harris, Art Director David Burke and Lead Artist Lindsey Millikan, the characters were merged into 5: Debow Jalapeno, Fantastic Girl, Golden Boy, Lava Queen and Lava Boy.
When Caltrans put a stop to the approval of mural #4 due to legal constraints, these young people were relentless in writing letters to our assembly members Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmon; Senator Nancy Skinner; Mayor Libby Schaaf, and the leaders of Caltrans. It was Senator Nancy Skinner that took their complaints to the next level. She was appalled and didn’t stop until victory and justice prevailed. This process was a beneficial learning experience for our young leaders and a gift in many ways.
On November 3, 2017 we celebrated the mural approval and the launch of OSH Mural # 4. At the gathering, the group stood below the hanging life-size paintings, which have been gracing the walls of Hoover library since 2016. Under the leadership of ArtEsteem Program Manager Christina Samuelson, the Hoover ArtEsteem Youth leaders are in their second year in the leadership program. AHC knew that it would be essential to keep the group strategically involved to have the opportunity to see the project through. AHC’s ArtEsteem program has worked with Hoover students to understand the vital importance of advocacy, the power of civic engagement, and the complexities of city and state processes for public art.
For 2017 Hoover ArtEsteem Youth Leaders attended an exhibit of one of their Super Hero paintings at the California Museum in Sacramento in the Unity Center. In addition, they visited the Sacramento Capitol House, made trips to City Hall, and will soon make walking fieldtrips down the street to participate in the painting of this transformative artwork.
The project is due to start the week of November 27th! Look out for the AHC team of children artists as we embark upon another effort to bring beauty into the community. Let’s give an applause for our outstanding leaders for their patience, tenacity, vision and hope for their community. They are an inspiration for us all!
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