San Diego Unified Student Artists Unveil Native-Youth Mural Honoring Kumeyaay Culture

Posted: Tuesday, June 25th 2019

Last week students from the San Diego Unified School District Title VI & Johnson O’Malley Indian Education Program, partnered with ArtReach San Diego to participate in a community beautification project. The Native-Youth-led Art Mural Project, was a collaborative effort with the Southern California American Indian Resource Center (SCAIR, Inc.).

For six weeks, students met with local artists Regan Russell and Donald Gould, contracted by ArtReach, to develop the mural from inception to completion. The students actively painted and worked on the mural located at the San Diego Unified Ballard Center, Community Garden Site. The Mural is inspired by local Kumeyaay culture and incorporates imagery pertaining to the local landscape, culturally significant and sacred items and Native stories.

The project is an opportunity for visitors to the Old Town area to better understand the customs, traditions and values of local Kumeyaay people who were the original inhabitants of the land Old Town sits on. The district believes it's important for students, and the community, to understand the history of San Diego and its Kumeyaay heritage.

“The partnership we have with The Southern California American Indian Resource Center is an example of how the district works together with members of the community, to make San Diego a better place.” said San Diego Unified School Board President, Dr. Sharon Whitehurts Payne.

SCAIR’s hope is that the mural will serve as a legacy project and help contribute to the growing visibility of American Indian culture in the larger community.


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