CITY OF MACON, GA
Mayor Jim Marshall

THE MURALS PROJECT

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Dr. Catherine Meeks, a professor from Mercer University, who is serving as a loaned executive to the Mayorís office organized a murals project in partnership with the Bibb County Schools. One teacher from Westside High School brought her senior art students to a community that had experienced serious problems with gang graffiti. The murals were painted on several walls at a recreation center. The first mural was completed in December 1997 and no "tagging" of the mural has taken place since its completion. A second mural of sports figures was completed at another recreation center, also in a high risk area. Several additional projects are planned for the 1998-1999 school year. The intent of this initiative is to involve neighborhood children in the painting of murals along with the students.

2. When was the program created and why?

The program started in the fall of 1997 to respond to graffiti through prevention instead of simply responding through intervention.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

Observation of the length of time that the murals have gone with no gang tagging being done to them is the measurement of effectiveness.

4. How is the program financed?

Local civic organizations and the Bibb County Public Schools finance the program.

5. What is the major lesson learned from these programs?

The most important lesson which we have learned is that the community is very eager to serve in any way possible to help end youth violence and that people power is often more necessary to do the needed work than funds.

6. How is the community involved? How has the community responded?

The community has been quite supportive of each of the above listed initiatives and that support has been exhibited through contributions received and offers of volunteer support.

7. Contact person:

For each of the above listed programs contact

Dr. Catherine Meeks

Phone # (912) 751-7170

Voice Mail # (912) 475-6664

Fax # (912) 751-7931

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