YOU ARE LOVED mural project

by Alex Cook

MA

The YOU ARE LOVED mural project (www.youarelovedmurals.com) creates powerful, engaging and positive text-based murals and painting events in communities, all based around the messages:

You Are Loved - You Are Important - You Are Needed - You Are Beautiful - You Can Do It

This project brings communities together to actively support the value of individuals and the community. We live under a barrage of negative messages in advertising and on the internet, as well as sometimes in our own thoughts. As a result, we see bullying, hate, fear, depression - all the darkest elements of human experience. The YOU ARE LOVED project pointedly opposes negative messages and supports the natural desire to be recognized as valuable, beautiful, and capable. The project aims to inject confidence, lightness, and healthy support into the public conversation about individual worth.  

Since 2014 I have created 30 YOU ARE LOVED murals in 9 states and 2 countries.  These projects have been collaborations with schools, worship communities, prisons, homeless shelters, and more. The project has garnered lots of great TV and print attention including this recent piece on NBC about a You Are Loved mural used to address human trafficking:

 

I am making it a priority to create these murals in places where people are most in need of a supportive voice - homeless shelters, prisons, and underserved schools. In the last year, I have built relationships with 5 shelters in Boston, and Beyond Basics, an organization that serves underserved high schools in Detroit. We will be working in 5 of them. I have received a donation that will pay for one of these murals. This campaign is to raise funds for the remaining 9 locations. These murals will be seen daily by hundreds, and over time, thousands, of people, many of whom don't have messages like this in their lives. 

Residents of the shelters and students in the schools will participate in painting the murals. They will feel the awesome joy of contributing to a beautiful, enduring piece of art that will speak to other students and residents for years to come. For most of these people, it will be the first time they will get to do something like that. This project creates not only the murals themselves, but gives underserved, (and often suffering) people a chance to be part of something sublime. 

I am seeking to raise $20,800 to create murals with these 9 communities. These funds will go towards supplies, administrative time, travel, and my time creating the murals and facilitating the groups of volunteers. Every donation to this campaign is 100% tax deductible! There are lots of great rewards for your donation - paintings, music, stickers, books - all kinds of stuff! ALSO, I must reach my minimum goal to receive these funds. Please make a contribution today and share!

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                                                       **TESTIMONIALS**

“Thank YOU! I received a call yesterday from the Clark High School (Plano, TX) Principal gushing about how much her school and community enjoys those murals. Students have already been saying they have a positive impact on them walking through the halls and that everyone just “gets it.” She also spoke very highly of you and how you interacted with the students.”

Amy Miller, Director of Education, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

“I screwed up so many times and had let people down, and I was contemplating making a seriously bad decision, ultimately my final decision… I took a walk and saw your mural. I felt like it was a personal message to me.  I almost started to cry… It greatly lifted my heart.”

– Anonymous email

“For our 60th anniversary, Alex Cook led our congregation together in painting a mural with the bold and colorful message, “You are Loved.” Neighbors, strangers, and friends formed community in applying strokes of various colors and letters to make a bold statement for the thousands of cars passing the church daily. Simple and powerful!”

 — Rev. Jason Bense, Pastor, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Sacramento, CA