"Stop Violence – Create Peace"
is the message from Boston young people …

Sidewalk Sam“ and Boston youth create symbol of non-

On Tuesday August 18, 2009 - in conjunction with the Franklin Park Children’s Festival - PAINT FOR PEACE involved nearly 1300 young people from all across the city join with public artist “Sidewalk Sam“ to create a giant symbol of peace.

Participants were invited to help create three giant Peace Doves at White Field in Franklin Park – each 2500 square feet large! The images are a positive symbol representing people‘s commitment to peace in neighborhoods where violence has often been dominant.

Sidewalk Sam says, “I believe that involving youth in a giant creative symbol will be an important step towards creating peace in the streets, allowing youth to take a leadership role in healing the harm that violence has brought to their neighbohoods. These Doves of Peace will be a visible sign that society is backing the young people in their stand against violence.“

The Franklin Park PAINT FOR PEACE program was undertaken in cooperation with the City of Boston Department of Parks and Recreation, with generous support from Bank of America and Cabot Corporation.

Timed just prior to back-to-school, this event is a continuation of a city-wide initiative with Sidewalk Sam to involve neighborhood youth in creating a series of smaller dove symbols throughout Boston neighborhoods. Paint For Peace provides neighborhoods with hundreds of positive images painted in the heart of their community - at bus stops, in front of schools and churches, on well-traveled streets and high impact shopping areas. The artworks present a new, positive image representing the neighborhood‘s desire to support young people as they bring symbols of peace and hope to Boston‘s neighborhoods. The primary objectives of the program are to promote - through the media and the participation of the young people - positive action by community and civic leaders to help youths live safe and productive lives and to encourage young people to take steps toward violence prevention.

The Paint for Peace Project is a local initiative that we hope will not only raise awareness of the violence impacting our neighborhoods, but will also lead to lasting change. It’s a noticeable step with a potentially great impact on public awareness. It is a call to action for people everywhere who are concerned about violence and its effect on youth today. It is hoped that the Paint for Peace Project would be replicated in other cities across the United States, as a means toward gathering youth to help solve the problem of gun violence in their lives.

We believe that Paint for Peace can be one step towards creating peace in the streets. It will be one visible sign that leaders in Boston are backing the children, working together, and taking a stand against the violence that has torn apart families and communities. It’s only by our joint effort that we can possibly make positive change. It only takes one person, one moment, one action to make a difference.