The mural project for Good Neighbor Settlement House was special for many reasons.
It’s close to home.
Good Neighbor Settlement House (GNSH) is a nonprofit, multi-service agency dedicated to assisting the needy men, women and children of Brownsville through programs that provide nutritious meals, clothing, showers and support services.
GNSH also offers respite care for refugees released locally by US immigration authorities to pursue their asylum cases in the United States. Refugees get help with travel logistics, local transportation, and communicating with their families. They provide snacks, hygiene kits, appropriate clothing, showers, home cooked meals, and a place to sleep overnight if needed.
I come from a family of immigrants. I am an immigrant myself, and many of my family members actually passed through Brownsville when they first came to the States. So the work done by Good Neighbor is something that I feel is very important and needs to be supported.
The work done by GNSH for the homeless is also deeply important. We want the work of Art We There Yet to stretch to the some of the most marginalized and forgotten groups across North and South America. GNSH provides so much support to the community in the poorest neighborhood of one of the USA’s poorest cities.
Symbols of unity and welcome.
The symbols embedded in the mural design are very intentional. They are meant to emphasize the importance of caring and looking out for one another. Of building community together. Of celebrating the diversity we see across the United States and the world. And to give welcome to all who pass through Brownsville seeking a new beginning in the USA.
Community came together again.
Each time we do a public mural project, a team naturally evolves as the mural progresses. Members of the community from different walks of life, curious passersby, folks who heard about the mural through the grapevine.
This mural was no exception.
GNSH homeless clients, GNSH volunteers (many of whom are young college students studying social work and social justice), local artists, and our own team all came together to make this happen.
Dave joined us.
Some of our murals are sponsored by patrons of the Art We There Yet project. This was a very special occasion in which the mural’s sponsor was actually able to participate in painting the mural itself!
Dave Dittman has been a true fan of the project from the get-go. Always engaged, supportive, and remaining a great friend from afar. We finally met in person when we visited Maryland last fall.
And luck had it that Dave was able to join us for the entire mural project! That is really special, and we’re grateful for these memories that we’re building still. Thank you, Dave, for everything!
Press for the Good Neighbor mural project.
By the way, the Good Neighbor mural got some serious press! Thank you to Daniela Sosa, volunteer manager at GNSH, for doing such an amazing job contacting the local press! And for so much more! You were so helpful! Thank you!