/ Modified jun 16, 2011 1:53 p.m.

Beautifying Barrio Centro

Tucson Arts Brigade sets out to create a mural arts program that makes more than pretty walls.

Arts Brigade 617x347 Tucson Mural Arts Program is a results-based community improvement program that involves residents of all ages in the design and painting of murals. The program is part of the non profit group known as Tucson Arts Brigade. (PHOTO: AZPM)

The bit of 22nd Street that houses the Lucky Wishbone, between Country Club and Tucson Avenue, might seem like a mundane stretch of road, but if you’ve driven it recently you may have noticed that a colorful mural has been gradually taking shape on a nearby wall.

Michael Schwartz is an artist and the executive director of the local non-profit Tucson Arts Brigade. He says the mural is part of a project intended to strengthen the community.

The Tucson Mural Arts Program is a results-based beautification program,” he says, “that involves residents of all ages in the design and painting of murals. We offer a viable solution to graffiti, social isolation and property damage by working with our community to collaboratively create works of art.”

Seeing Schwartz at work makes it clear he loves his art. He says this mural is part of an ongoing effort to engage youth and beautify Tucson neighborhoods, and in this case it’s through a mural that tells the story of Barrio Centro.

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