Youth Singers of Calgary Community Art Murals
Youth Singers of Calgary (YSC) creates great performers on stage and in life. Since 1985 YSC has been giving children, youth and young adults the tools they need to sing, dance and act, but we are about so much more. Everyday we are building community leaders. Our program builds confidence, develops leadership skills, encourages teamwork, and promotes a commitment to excellence to last a life-time.
There is no place like home, and for Youth Singers and a myriad of other community arts groups, home is the Performing Arts Youth Centre (PAYC). Located on Hastings Crescent SE, each week PAYC welcomes hundreds of kids, teens and adults who want to be active in the performing arts.
The last few years have been tough on Calgary economically and spiritually, and boy, does Hasting Crescent show it! “For Sale” and “To Rent” signs are scattered about the already drab landscape of the street. Buildings on both sides of PAYC are vacant and across the street it’s not much better. Hastings Crescent could use a boost.
The pandemic restrictions hit performing groups like Youth Singers particularly hard. Our artistic staff was forced to quickly pivot to on-line instruction and made the best of a difficult situation. Still, the kids missed singing with their friends in-person, and our registration greatly declined. What could we do to improve the experience while observing the restrictions? We built an outdoor classroom in the back of the building to give our summer campers some outdoor time in the summer sun. Our summer registrations soared and we even had to add camps. It’s a start but the outdoor spaces at PAYC remain a long way from ideal. This is an industrial area and it looks like it.
Our idea is to bring life and inspiration to Hasting Crescent, and add colour and play to PAYC outdoor spaces by adding joyful murals to our facility. A 500 Sq ft mural will be painted on the NW corner (visible from street) and a second will be painted on the back of the building (visible from outdoor classroom and businesses in valley below PAYC).
A professional artist with experience in community engagement and mural design will be hired to complete this project. Collaboration with the community will involve brainstorming sessions to develop a narrative, followed by implementation and execution of the design by volunteers, guided by our lead artist. This project will be managed by experienced arts administrators; volunteer participation will be coordinated by our volunteer manager.
Who Will it Benefit?
A rising tide lifts all boats
PAYC is located in a light industrial area that is currently experiencing high rates of vacancy. Colourful, fun and attractive murals will encourage traffic to all businesses in the area. Beneficiaries include:
• Landlords and owners of vacant buildings – Increased vibrancy makes the street more desirable as a business location
• Visitors to the street and area – Murals contribute to a welcoming atmosphere
• Businesses in the Highfield industrial area – Increased visits to the area discourage vagrancy
• Performing Arts Youth Centre – Murals contribute to a playful and fun outdoor environment and increase the attractiveness of the centre as a community arts space
• All of Calgary – Engaged and inspired YSC youth are tomorrow’s community leaders and exemplary citizens.