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Posted September 17, 2015

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Washington Mural Dedicated

Students help create the mural and documented its progress through video.

It all began with a walk through the neighborhood.

Each day on their way to and from work, Len Romano and his wife/business partner Donna walked by the deteriorating mural near the track at Washington Middle School where his oldest daughter goes to school.

"We didn’t want to think of our neighborhood middle school being neglected, so we started generating interest and ideas on how to get the mural repaired or redone in order to change the appearance and perception of WMS," Romano said.

Thanks to a partnership with the non-profit Working Classroom, funding from a Bernalillo County Neighborhood Outreach Grant, and support of Washington staff and students as well as the Huning Castle Neighborhood Association, a large portion of the mural, titled Resilience, has been redone and was dedicated Friday, Sept. 18.

As part of the celebration, a student-created documentary about the project was shown on a portion of the mural wall that hasn't yet been transformed.

Renowned muralist Nani Chacon worked with a group of nine WMS student apprentices on the mural project over the summer. In addition, Washington film students, led by teacher and videographer Dominic Pettine, documented the entire project and created the 20-minute film "Resilience."

Watch the documentary trailer: 

Go here to watch the documentary in its entirety. 

"It's been a great experience and opportunity for the students," said Romano, owner of the branding and design firm Ripe Inc., which has helped Washington create a school logo and website and get a digital marquee. "They all showed great discipline, commitment and an eagerness to learn. They are truly proud of the mural and of their part in it, and they have all acquired solid techniques and a passion for expression through art."

Phase two of the project consists of completing the west half of the mural. Work is scheduled to take place next summer. Working Classroom, an award-winning arts and education program promoting the creative, academic, and leadership potential of talented young artists from historically ignored communities, is leading the effort.

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