The True Colors Mural project supports the development of young artist activists for the improvement of the urban environment through the creation of public murals. The purpose of the murals are to both educate urban dwellers and beautify the urban environment with messages and images that support ecological sustainability, conservation and restoration. The project recruits, engages and employs under-served youth from Berkeley and the greater East Bay, in vital community murals projects. True Colors trains young artists to design and create community murals with social and environmental justice themes.
The unique contributions of this project are:
• high quality, enduring, and meaningful community murals that raise issues and consciousness regarding the environment
• improvement of the urban landscape
• educational preparation on these themes for a new generation of high school and college-age activist artists who will receive high school and college level academic units in the arts income for environmental artist/activists from Berkeley’s Youth Works Program.
The True Colors Mural Project (TCMP) was founded in 2008, as a public art program at Berkeley City College, which now offers a transferable Certificate of Achievement with an AA degree. TCMP has a breadth and scope far beyond the college classes, as our project are monumental and community based, and for this reason it is a special program that has been fiscally sponsored by three grassroots, equity-oriented foundations. Our first fiscal agent was BAHIA (Bay Area Institute for Hispanic Advancement, first year), Earth Island Institute (focussed on environmental justice, during the subsequent five years) and now, The Estria Foundation, (focussed on mural art and youth development). We have received funding from many diverse sources, including the UC Chancellor’s Grant, the City of Berkeley and the Oakland Civic Arts Commission, among many others. Students and community members have also developed crowd sourcing to sustain our projects.
Our first murals were created for the student lounge at Berkeley City College, but the subsequent five were created for the community at large, on the streets of Berkeley and Oakland, as well as inside schools and social institutions. The following is a list of murals and the years they were created:
- DAY and NIGHT, two 6′ x30′ acrylic murals on sheetrock, located at Berkeley City College’s Student Lounge (5th Floor, 2050 Center Street. 2008
- BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE BLACK HISTORY MURAL, 6′ x 24′, acrylic on canvas, installed in Berkeley City College Atrium. 2009
- CULTURA SIN FRONTERAS/LIVING WITHOUT BORDERS, , 25′ x 60′ acrylic mural on stucco, Mi Tierra Foods Market, San Pablo and Addison Streets, Berkeley. 2009
- POSTERS OF RESISTANCE: VISIONS OF PEACE AND JUSTICE, The Inkworks Mural, 2827 7th Street, Berkeley, CA, 2010
- COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS, YMCA-PG&E Teen Center Mural, 2011
- FRESH START Mural for REALM Charter School, Completed in June 2012
- West Oakland Youth Center: A Collaboration between True Colors Mural Project (BCC), Trust Your Struggle Collective and Juana Alicia, corner of Brockhurst and Market Streets, West Oakland. 2013-2014
- FROM THE GROUND UP / DESDE LAS RAICES
Berkeley City College’s 40th Anniversary Mural, Located in the Basement Atrium of Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 2014
We are currently in a fund raising mode, and welcome donations to our project. Checks for True Colors may be made to The Estria Foundation.