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Pittsburgh Summer Art Program Shows Kids That Art Pays


MLK Mural Project takes youth on an artistic journey with a cash reward at the end


Moving Lives of Kids Art Center (MLK) has been active in enriching some of Pittsburgh’s toughest neighborhoods through art and education for several years. This year they’ve brought on more than forty youths from the Pittsburgh Summer Employment Program (PSYEP) and The Bridge of Pittsburgh to work with professional artists, painting and designing inspirational murals in Squirrel Hill, Northside, and Oakland. Each of the kids will receive a $1,000 stipend at the end of the six-week program.



(click images to enlarge)

The Squirrel Hill mural project (Located on the corner of Murray and Beacon), which began on June 30th and ends on August 8th, is employing sixteen youths ranging in age from 14 to 21 to work with local artist and rapper Gene Ojeda a.k.a. BZE. One of the kids working on the mural is Anthony Bower, a 19-year-old student who is involved Pressley Ridge and the cousin of Leon Ford who was shot and paralyzed by police two years ago. Anthony is working closely with the Squirrel Hill site manager, Micci Hutterer, who is helping to make sure he gets the most out of the program.


The Northside mural project is in partnership with the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing (NCFH) and began on July 7th and will run until August 15th. This is the 5th consecutive year that MLK and NCFH have partnered on a mural project. Ten youths are working with Roberto “Max” Maxwell, an accomplished muralist and celebrity tattoo artist, to bring to life a powerful image depicting the difference between activities that lead to prison and activities that lead to success and happiness. The idea for the mural came largely from ideas the kids had about what they wanted to paint. Max has done tattoos for popular music artist like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller.


The Oakland mural project, running from June 30th to August 8th, is being painted on the side of Mad Mex, a popular Mexican restaurant on the corner of Atwood and Bates. Lucas Stock and Doug Bruner are working with fourteen youths on the mural.

About MLK Mural

Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project (MLK Mural) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which focuses on the arts, youth development, and education. Artist and Muralist Kyle Holbrook founded MLK Mural in 2002 originally from the Wilkinsburg area of Pittsburgh. His vision was to use public art as a way to reach kids over the summer months to do positive community work when they were not in school. Today, as many as 5,000 youth and hundreds of professional Artists have shared that vision with Mr. Holbrook. Murals have been painted in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Haiti, Uganda, Portugal, and Brazil. 












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