HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth), Broward College, and Twenty6North Productions unveiled a pilot mural painted on the walls of HANDY’s Headquarter Building in Fort Lauderdale. The HANDY mural is the first of six murals in Broward County aimed to engage, excite, and inspire residents.
“This mural is a testament to our youth revealing that there is no limit to how much they can dream, build and achieve. This artwork unifies two local guardians of the Community of Hope, HANDY, and Broward College,” said Kirk Brown, CEO of HANDY. “We are demonstrating that together, we can unlock our youth’s unlimited potential by embracing, educating and empowering them to have a successful future.”
In late 2020, Broward College and Twenty6North Productions approached HANDY to serve as the first organization to donate wall space to promote a Broward Unlimited Potential (UP) program motivated to change the narrative on poverty and mobility by creating access to workforce education and jobs.
“Broward College and Broward UP are pleased to partner with HANDY on this pilot program,” said Gregory Haile, president of Broward College. “This multi-phase project was designed to engage students, residents, and stakeholders, and highlight the collaborative power of strong community partnerships that enhance opportunity for all.”
Local South Florida muralist and artist Nate Dee was selected to inspire the residents through his imagery. During a virtual discussion with Dee, HANDY youth offered inspiration for the mural’s composition and design, including use of yellow, red, and green to represent HANDY’s three foundational pillars: “Embrace, Educate, and Empower.” The mural’s book serves as symbol for knowledge and education, while the intersecting lines define the power of individuality and diversity.
“I chose to direct the children’s gaze looking upward, showing the sky is their limit. They are embraced by the colors they chose and protected by the seahawk’s wing. This osprey is a symbol of keen vision, creativity, and connection,” said Dee.
Focusing on six zip codes with disproportionately high unemployment rates and low educational attainment and household income levels, Broward UP plans to curate a series of murals in each of these concentrated areas.
“We are so proud of this partnership with HANDY, Broward UP and our mural campaign, which is helping to tell so many important stories through art,” said Maxence Doytier, creative director at Twenty6North Productions. “For our pilot project, the new HANDY mural symbolizes soaring above your goals, highlighting a consistent message of hope and determination throughout.”