Check out the making of the four part series of the #WeAreBetterTogether #BeautifyNYC Solidarity Project.
This project is part of the Carnegie Hall's NeON Arts #BeautifyNYC #WeAreBetterTogether Solidarity project.
Series #2: Suffolk St Cross Cultural Solidarity Mural
Located at: 384 Grand St, Corner of Suffolk St NYC
Michela Muserra (aka Miki Mu), born and raised in Italy, has lived in NYC since the early 2000s. She works as a teaching artist for Thrive Collective, a non-profit art organization that creates hope and opportunities through arts and mentoring in and around public schools and communities. Miki also works as an independent muralist whose art focuses on social causes and environmental issues to raise awareness.
Working with Thrive Collective, Miki learned how powerful art can be. She believes art can transform people and communities. Murals can be used to raise awareness, one neighborhood at a time. She’s deeply concerned by the recent surge in racist hate and inspired by movements like Black Lives Matter. As a white person, she understands her privilege, and it hurts her to see such widespread discrimination and the way many bystanders accept it as the norm. She knows racism is not inborn, and that humans must be taught to hate. Bigotry is a mental construct, not a natural state, and our country’s history has normalized that construct since its inception.
Working with various communities led Miki to let go of her artistic ego. She is constantly learning through her art and sees it as a powerful exercise for the evolution of her humanity and her art.
May Siu (aka MayDay) founded Murals for Good in an effort to promote equity, inclusion, and belonging through art. She is inspired to bring artists, partners, and volunteers together to creatively problem-solve social issues. MayDay is an interdisciplinary artist focusing primarily on providing artists a platform for social justice art. She also specializes in augmented reality (AR) light projection art work.
As an Asian American woman who lives the COVID-related hate experience, she believes now is the time for us to shine light on this issue and transform pain into positive change. She sees art as a powerful medium that can galvanize individuals and transform communities.
MayDay is the founder of Murals for Good.
The #WeAreBetterTogether solidarity mural was designed by a passionate group of young artists from East New York Brooklyn and art directed by Murals for Good's teaching artist Miki Mu.
These young artists are the next generation of Solidarity Ambassadors, many traveling three hours daily to create mural art that helps bridge social, cultural, and equity gaps. Through murals and the mantra “We Are Better Together,” we seek to draw attention to the UA3’s and Murals for Good’s process of collaboration and youth empowerment, while also making a statement about the importance of solidarity across different communities.
This mural is located at the corner of the Community First Food Pantry on 384 Grand St. in NYC.
Community Based Partners
UA3 was founded in 2015 as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to positively impact and create lasting improvements in underserved communities. They do this by empowering youth, educating, promoting health and mental health awareness, supporting socio-economic opportunities, and channeling resources to those in need. When COVID-19 hit, they jumped into action in April 2020 with their “Dare to Care" motto to establish the first food pantry in Chinatown—the Community First Food Pantry.
Since then, the project has grown rapidly. It now serves over 7,000 people weekly in various racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods across New York City. UA3 accomplishes these goals through partnerships within the public and private sectors, including educational institutions and community service organizations.