By Patricia Sliney:
Local non-profit organization Girls Inc. of Worcester has played an active role in benefiting the Worcester community for over one-hundred years. Girls Inc. prides itself on educating and empowering local Worcester girls on how to be “strong, smart, and bold”, and fosters a safe and welcoming environment for all girls of the Worcester area.
Recently, Girls Inc. has renovated their gymnasium where the girls enjoy learning basketball, playing games, and remaining active throughout their days after school. The mural was completed on April 9th, and was made possible by the Creative Spark Grant gifted by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. It was created by artist Alice Mizrachi who was able to share her gift with the girls.
Chief Executive Officer of Girls Inc., Victoria Waterman says, “At Girls Inc., we inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. But what does that really mean? This mural illustrates what that means in ways that combines every element of all the girls here.”
The mural depicts a diverse range of girls of many shapes, sizes, and ability. From a powerful young woman holding a basketball, to a disabled and strong young leader showing younger girls up the metaphorical ladder of success. This mural is a chance for every young girl at Girls Inc. to see themselves within the work. Waterman goes on to say, “It would be surprising if a girl looked at this and didn’t see something about themselves represented on this wall.”
The artist of the extraordinary mural explains, “It’s really beautiful to make images that are optimistic, and I prefer to create messages that are empowering. I love being able to do something that makes people say ‘Wow, that’s a woman doing that.'” For Mizrachi, it is important to be the role model that inspires young girls to know that they can do it as well. “I remember earlier in my career sometimes I would wear coveralls or a hoodie if it were cold, and people would say ‘Great job dude!’ Then I take my hood off and they would say ‘Oh wow, it’s a woman.” Mizrachi explains how it is important for young girls to know that they can do what they set their minds to, and representing a diverse range of strong, smart, and bold young girls on this mural does just that.
Mizrachi gave the girls of Girls Inc. the opportunity to collaborate on this mural by asking what the mantra “strong, smart, and bold”, meant to them. All the girls drew out their interpretations of this motto, and Mizrachi said every element of their interpretations were incorporated into the final product in some way. Her example has taught the girls so much about not only murals, but about art as a whole. “It’s powerful that a little girl can come in here and say ‘Woah, I want to do that.’ A little girl came up to me and she asked “How do I be like you?’ That’s amazing.” This collaboration, Mizrachi hopes “Will inspire girls that want to be artists to know that they can do it as well.”
To find out more about Artist Alice Mizrachi, visit her website here;
For more information on Girls Inc. of Worcester, visit their website here;