Bronx Community Paint Fest

June 27, 2023

On May 13, Homeward Bronx residents and staff joined the New York City Mural Arts Project for their Community Paint Fest Party at the MMCC Community Center. NYCMAP, a program of Brooklyn Community Services in partnership with the NYC Health Department, strives to end stigma and promote mental health awareness through collaborative mural-making. Hundreds gathered to paint a vibrant new mural in the Bronx, while enjoying music, food, games, and wellness resources.

Since last fall, Homeward Bronx residents have worked with muralist and teaching-artist Paul Deo for art therapy projects and to develop the mural’s theme. Community arts projects are a priority for us—many of our residents are talented artists.

They’ve also worked with peer specialist Medea for mindfulness and meditation. 80% of our LGBTQ young adult residents have behavioral health and substance use issues related to the abuse, rejection and discrimination they’ve experienced.

We see artmaking as a creative outlet, a coping and healing tool, and as a means of personal storytelling.

Our residents, their Bronx neighbors, and local community groups provided input on the mural—so the mural design reflects the histories, values and experiences of the community.

The design is printed on large, paint-by-number canvases that allow people of all ages and artistic abilities to paint sections of the mural together. And that’s just what happened at the Community Paint Fest. They came together to bring to life the mural “Collective Prayer for the New You.”

We were overwhelmed by the turnout, participation, and energy at the event. Homeward Bronx residents were thrilled to share this transformative experience with the wider Bronx community.