Street Wise Arts
When Art Goes Up, Walls Come Down
BY EBONI J.D. FREEMAN | April 28, 2022
“When we create murals that include important themes like diversity and social justice, it provides an easier entryway into thinking about social change and the way that we can get there.”
Street Wise Arts
It’s time to look up. Burying our heads in the midst of social strife has never been a winning solution, but how do we make an impact from our tiny corners of the universe? Leah Brenner Clack, Executive Director of the Street Wise Arts non-profit, declares “ARTivism” as the way forward. Through her annual artistic activism mural festival, Clack is creating, refining, and scaling a model for neighbourhoods to put art up, tear walls down, and build equitable towns.
sM | Why are murals an appropriate medium for showcasing cultural diversity, social activism, and community values?
LBC — Murals are super accessible and also disruptive to the normal urban environment. They create impact and engage people just with their presence. When we create murals that include important themes like diversity and social justice, it provides an easier entryway into thinking about social change and the way that we can get there. The murals also provide a visual representation of diversity that’s not often at the forefront in Boulder. Since launching, we have prioritized equitable representation for women, people of colour, indigenous, and LGBTQ+ artists to address that inequity and be a model for other festivals and organizations. We’re providing creative opportunities that can launch artists into new terrain that can shift the trajectory of their career.