Groundswell Shares Approach to Elevating Teen Voice

Robyne Walker Murphy, executive director of Groundswell (Brooklyn, NY), recently spoke to Digging Deep, a website that supports parents and caregivers of young people with serious medical conditions. Throughout the interview, Robyne spoke about the role of artmaking in helping young people to not only understand their identity and place in the world, but also to investigate how they can change it.

“Creating murals on themes that are important to youth artists ignites these young people’s radical imaginations for personal and societal change,” she says.

According to Digging Deep, “For 22 years, Groundswell has been working with youth to not just touch others through their art and words, but to actually provoke the change they want to see in themselves and in the world around them.  Over these years, more than 500 murals have inspired the residents of New York and covered the walls in all five boroughs of Manhattan, with over 200 murals still standing today.  The themes are guided by whatever teens think are their pressing issues at the time, ranging from identity and respect to immigrant rights.”

Robyne ultimately noted that, when speaking with young people, she reminds them: “It is not about what you produce, it’s about what you want to say.”

Read the full article here.

About Groundswell

Groundswell is a NYC-based organization that brings together youth, artists, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change, for a more just and equitable world. In 1996, a group of New York City artists, educators, and activists founded Groundswell with the belief that collaborative art-making combines personal expression with the strength of community activism—and produces unique and powerful outcomes.

Published: April 29, 2018