They 'Painted for Hope' at Community Center

Elizabeth Gilbert, 8, adds to the "Paint for Hope Project" Mural at the Downtown Community Center on March 12. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

It’s called the “Paint for Hope Project,” a 20-foot-long mural created by kids (and some adults) at Manhattan Youth’s Downtown Community Center on Saturday to honor the families of Ukraine. Some 100 people put brush to paper that morning in conjunction with a collection of items for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. 

“This community always tries to help,” said Manhattan Youth Executive Director Bob Townley. “We’re always happy to do whatever very little piece we can.”

For the project, organized by Susan Kay, Manhattan Youth’s Cultural Events Coordinator, each artist was given one square section of the mural to fill, creating a giant patchwork of small colorful works.

Gabi Ajami watched closely as her daughter Gigi, 4, considered where to put her next brush stroke. “When she gets a little bit older she’ll appreciate and understand that she participated in something that was very important for us to show about community building and compassion and understanding,” she said. “That we’re all connected no matter where we live in this world.”