Philadelphia Depar tment of Recreation
FIVE STEPS TO PLANNING AN ANTI-DRUG COMMUNITY MURAL
NATIONAL YOUTH ANTI-DRUG MEDIA CAMPAIGN
In 1998, with the bipartisan support of This guide provides the tools to develop a “My Anti-Drug”
mural in your community. It contains basic instructions on
Congress and the President, the Office of how to lead youth through activities that build self-respect,
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) responsibility, and teamwork and support healthy, positive,
and drug-free lifestyles.
created the National Youth Anti-Drug
Media Campaign, an effort designed to Developing a “My Anti-Drug” mural can be fun and can
also teach young people some important “life lessons”
educate and empower youth to reject illicit in the process. Each stage in the development of a mural
drugs. Counting on an unprecedented provides an opportunity to learn decision-making and
Did You Know? blend of public and private partnerships, master new skills.
- More than 50 percent of young people References:
1. Monitoring the
nonprofit community service organiza-
will try an illegal drug by the time Future Study 2001
they complete high school.1
tions, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth
2. The National PRIDE
- Parents and teachers who warn kids
Survey 2000-2001 communications, the Campaign is
3. Carnegie Council
about the dangers of drugs have on Adolescent designed to reach Americans of diverse
lowered drug use among youth.2 Development
- Kids who have positive activities and
interests are less likely to use drugs.3
4. National Center
on Addiction and
Contents backgrounds wherever they live, learn,
work, play, and practice their faith.
of American Attitudes Page 1 Page 12
- Sixty percent of high school students on Substance
and 30 percent of middle school Abuse, 2000” Introduction Step 4: Painting
Starting in 2000, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media
students report that drugs are used, 5. National Center on the Mural
kept, or sold at their school.4 Addiction and Campaign worked with corporate and community-based
Substance Abuse, Page 2
“National Survey organizations to create “My Anti-Drug” murals. These
- Teens cite that drugs are of American Attitudes Step 1: Getting Started Page 16 murals, located in 26 cities around the United States,
their greatest concern.5 on Substance
Abuse, 2000” Step 5: Promoting and provided youth with an opportunity to express and tell the
- One in five high school students 6. The National PRIDE Dedicating Your Mural world what stands between them and drugs. The murals
Survey 2000-2001 Page 6
uses drugs at least once a month.6 supported the Campaign’s positive messages of a drug-free
7. National Center
Step 2: Budgeting
lifestyle by encouraging youth to focus on the thing that
- Kids whose parents are involved on Addiction and Your Mural Project Page 18
Substance Abuse, keeps them from using drugs — their Anti-Drug.
in their lives are less likely to “National Survey Appendix
use drugs.7 of American Attitudes The “My Anti-Drug” Mural Guide, an initiative of the
on Substance Page 8 Murals are a visual way of expressing feelings and
Abuse, 2000” National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, was developed
Step 3: Creating the Vision thoughts about life. By creating “My Anti-Drug” murals, a
in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of
community gives youth a positive way to express what is
Recreation Mural Arts Program and made possible by the
important in their lives and demonstrates the benefits of
generous support of AT&T Wireless. The guide gives mural
coming together for a common good. What’s more, a
community Anti-Drug mural can provide young people with
arts and youth-serving organizations creative ways to use
new mentors and role models in the safe haven of familiar
substance abuse prevention themes in their arts programs.
surroundings and neighbors.
1. Getting STARTED PERMANENT MURALS
A permanent Anti-Drug mural painted directly on an existing wall structure or building could last years and
Planning and painting a “My Anti-Drug” mural If the mural artist is not the lead organizer and you or another team have a long-lasting impact in the community. Most permanent murals are larger in size and require extensive
member will lead the project, you may need to enter into a contract
emphasizes learning by doing and promotes community planning. Consider the following ways you may implement a permanent Anti-Drug mural in your community.
for the artist’s services. Clearly outline the role the artist will play in
values to young people, including a commitment to the project and what duties he or she is expected to perform. It is
a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Before you start on your best that your organization be responsible for purchasing and
caring for materials. Make sure that your group retains full rights
Exterior Murals Interior Murals
mural, here’s what needs to be done in advance.
and ownership to future use of images of the mural. “My Anti-Drug” community murals Interior permanent murals can be
Cost: $7,000 – $25,000 painted on exterior walls will encour- Cost: $200 – $2,000 placed in neighborhood schools,
STEP 1: Find a Mural Artist STEP 2: Form a Mural Team
Size: 100 sq. feet and up age community spirit and pride for
years to come. Exterior murals are
Size: 10 – 15 feet community centers, or even libraries.
Interior murals are usually smaller
Difficulty: Most difficult Difficulty: Most difficult
A mural artist is critical to creating a powerful “My Anti-Drug” long-lasting and highly visible and than exterior murals and can be
Life span: 10-plus years Life span: 10-plus years
The mural team should include the lead artist, a group leader to are a powerful alternative to graffiti painted with high-quality acrylic
mural and coordinating much of the activities. To start, post an
coordinate the team members and volunteers, and, of course, young and billboards. paints. Interior murals do not require
announcement about your project in areas where artists will be
team members representing youth organizations. The recommended weather-resistant paint and use fewer materials. As a result,
sure to see it, such as on the bulletin boards at local arts
ratio of teens to instructors is 10 to 1. If students have special Planning an exterior mural requires the approval of building working indoors is safer, requires less supervision, and usually
organizations, schools, universities, and government offices. owners and, in most cases, permits from the appropriate city
needs, such as physical or disciplinary challenges or English as a costs less.
Consider the following criteria as you review and select artists office(s). Obtain written permission and ensure that mural
second language, more supervision may be needed. Consider recruiting
for your project. plans comply with local regulations before meeting with team
high school or college students to fill additional leadership roles. Find a location that is public and highly visible. This location
members. This process can take anywhere from two to six
should allow the most viewing by foot traffic. Examine the
months. In some communities, the city arts commission may
surface to make sure it is smooth with no evidence of leakage
- Agree on the fee the artist requires and include the fee Parents and adult volunteers must sign a waiver form to protect your be willing to help identify a suitable space for your mural.
or structural damage. Concrete block, plaster, plasterboard,
in your expenses (estimated price range is $500 – $5,000). organization from lawsuits in the event of injuries not covered by
and stucco make good mural surfaces. With brick and textured
personal health insurance. Waivers can also certify that the volunteers An outdoor mural offers many choices for medium- to large-scale
- Make sure that interested artists have experience in painting projects. As the team “scouts” for a space, look for surfaces that stucco, avoid unpainted surfaces.
are able to participate in planned activities. They can also include
large-scale work (not necessarily murals). Ask to see their have no windows or views that would be blocked by parked cars,
authorization to use photographs and quotes from volunteers in your The Ideal Interior Surface
portfolio as part of the selection process. equipment, and so on. Ideal surfaces for painting outdoors are
mural promotions. Your legal counsel should review the waiver and smooth concrete block or stucco. Remember to avoid crumbling - A smooth surface that will not absorb the paint
- Ask for references of other clients with whom the have final authority over participation in the program. Consider any surfaces that show evidence of leakage or water damage. And and has no signs of long-term water damage.
artist has worked in a similar fashion. rules regarding child protection that may be applicable. finally, make sure that the site you select is safely away from - Easy access for planning, painting, and cleanup.
traffic areas or other hazardous conditions and provides access to
- Make sure the artist is committed to a drug-free lifestyle and bathrooms, storage for equipment, and water for cleaning.
to creating a mural that matches your intentions. STEP 3: Select a Mural Type The Ideal Exterior Surface
- Make sure the artist is interested in a collaborative project Time, money, and space are key factors in selecting the type of - Easy and safe to get to for planning, painting, and cleanup.
with your mural team, especially with young people. mural for your team. Permanent and temporary murals can be - Highly visible to ensure that the mural can be seen by all in
completed in one day to two months and will leave lasting, positive the community. Corner locations are visible from all directions.
- Verify if the artist has teaching experience. Areas with row or twin houses are ideal mural locations. In
impressions on everyone involved. Following are details about how
It is a plus when working with young people. some cases, areas where a house has burned down or has been
to create permanent and temporary murals.
demolished often face a dreary, windowless stucco wall, which
- Confirm with the artist the age range of youth is ideal for a mural.
he/she is willing to work with on the mural project. - Facing north is ideal, as the surface is not prone to
fading, and the light is more flattering to the colors.
- Be clear about your process of community involvement
at every stage in the project, and be sure that the artist
is willing to take part in this large-team process.
“The Peace Wall”
29th and Wharton Streets, 1997
Artist: Jane Golden and Peter Pagast
© Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program,
Jane Golden and Peter Pagast
Sponsored by: The William Penn Foundation, City of Philadelphia
Photograph by: Jack Ramsdale
TEMPORARY MURALS STEP 4: Scout for a Mural Surface STEP 6: Obtain Insurance Permits
Temporary murals are often a great way to introduce this type of public art project to an organization for the first To obtain a permit, you will need to provide proof of insurance. You
Searching for the best surface is a fun way to check out possible
time. Temporary murals require less planning, are easily transported and displayed in many locations, and are then mural locations and determine their availability. This is a great MUST have insurance for a permanent mural project and may need
replaced. They are easier to create and are usually less expensive. You may want to consider these styles of temporary way to involve the youth on your team in finding possible locations. it for other exterior or large interior murals. Before making specific
murals in developing Anti-Drug messages for your community. Make a checklist of the pros and cons of each site and contact mural plans, contact the mayor’s office or city/county planning
the site owners to determine if it is available for the mural project. department for the name of the city office that regulates art in
public spaces. This office could be the department of recreation,
commission on arts and humanities, city projects division, or art
WOOD PAPER STEP 5: Secure Your Space in public places. You should be able to get the information you
need to obtain permits to do exterior painting. In addition, this office
Wooden panels made from Oversized rolls of paper, available Speak to the owner of the team’s first choice for a proposed mural might be able to give you names of professional mural artists, grant
Cost: $100 – $500 plywood can be hinged to make Cost: $25 – $200 at most office supply and art stores, space. Explain the Anti-Drug theme and the purpose for selecting information, or information on available space for your mural.
Size: 3 x 5 feet – 6 x 10 feet an A-frame, creating a two-sided, Size: 3 x 5 feet– 6 x 10 feet are a great way to create inexpensive, the site. When choosing your spot, consider the occupants or
Difficulty: Moderately difficult free-standing surface for Difficulty: Not difficult versatile, and portable murals. activities of the building. The mural, as a very public and visual
Life span: 10-plus years Life span: 10-plus years Liability laws vary from place to place, so be sure to talk to a
a single or larger mural effect. Paper murals are especially pronouncement of a belief, will be perceived as “belonging” to
This structural design allows convenient because they can be
lawyer to determine the type of insurance you’ll need. Contact your
whatever establishment occupies the building or structure. Have
the mural to be moved, either in single panels or as a done as a group or individual activity and tailored to fit the available a second or third location if approval is not granted for the
local bar association to ask for help. If you’re painting an interior
larger project, to other sites. A wooden panel mural can time schedules and abilities of the group. Paper murals can first location. Once you have received permission to use the selected mural in your organization’s building, check with the owner to
be displayed in a community plaza, park, or along a traffic also be used as an introduction to creating larger, more space, keep the owner and sponsors informed of the planning and determine what the building insurance covers.
corridor. The wood surface needs at least two coats of permanent murals. Consider making a collage and gluing progress of the mural development.
primer before painting the design, and a good varnish or photographs, individual drawings, pictures from magazines,
graffiti guard should be applied on top of the design. fabric, glitter, ribbons, sequins, or other craft materials to your
mural. Invite youth to participate by adding “My Anti-Drug”
CANVAS poetry or short essays to the mural.
Places to Display Temporary Murals
Canvas murals can be completed
- City hall/county courthouse
Cost: $45 – $200 in two days to a month and are
- Schools (in hallways or as a backdrop on a school stage)
Size: 3 x 5 feet – 6 x 10 feet long-lasting and easy to move
- Local libraries or museums
Difficulty: Moderately difficult around. Canvas murals can be dis-
- Religious centers
Life span: 10-plus years played in various locations, offering
- Festivals and other outdoor events
unlimited possibilities for visibility.
- Community health centers
Canvas must be primed before painting. Canvas can be - Community recreation centers and plazas
purchased stretched and primed, giving your team additional - Retail windows of area businesses
time for planning and development. While canvas is available
in cotton and linen, cotton is recommend for beginners. Canvas
primed with a layer of white paint called gesso (“jess-oh”) tip Creased paper: Use a low-heat iron to smooth away
before stretching is more expensive but is a step-saver. Another creases. To increase the size of paper, attach additional
way to save time is to use canvas boards, which are primed sheets with white glue or a glue stick (tape will repel
canvases glued to cardboard. paint) and reinforce it on the back with tape or another
strip of paper. Be sure the glue is completely dry before
Lining a series of canvas boards attached to a wall can provide
you start on the mural.
a large mural effect. Canvas boards are easy to cut into shapes
as part of the overall mural design. Use water-soluble paints
like acrylic or latex for easy cleanup and safety. When
completed, a canvas mural can be framed by nailing lattice
stripping (from a hardware store) to the sides of the canvas.
If the mural will be moved often, consider leaving the edges
unfinished and paint a compatible color border.
“What’s Your Anti-Drug?” mural
Anacostia High School, October 2000
In partnership with RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
There are many factors to consider in determining your
projected budget cost, such as materials, permits,
artist fees and expenses, and other administrative items.
Corporate Community Relations Offices or Foundations
Most corporations have community relations or government affairs
offices that give money to local organizations. If your organization SAMPLE BUDGET Your
Mural team members should take an active role in raising the money
needed for the Anti-Drug mural. Team members can plan fund-rais-
has tax-exempt, nonprofit status, known as a 501(c) (3) organization, Category/Items Number of Items Description Estimated ing events such as car washes, bake sales, art shows, and other
such as a charitable or religious organization, it can be easier to activities to encourage donations.
Choose paint according
STEP 1: Determine Cost Projection apply for grants.
Mural Paint 20 gallons
to mural type (see
section on painting $1,100
Here are a few initial steps to consider in the Libraries or the Internet may help in locating a listing of corporations Community groups with similar objectives can support your mural
development of your budget: or foundations with headquarters in your city. Review the company Scaffolding project by providing money, volunteers, publicity, mural space, and
- Make a list of materials and activities needed to complete or foundation guidelines to verify if your program meets their grant equipment rental N/A Eight weeks for wall $1,000 support of fund-raising events. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of
only, not at 35-by-40.
the mural project. These activities may be general or very requirements. Some provide grants specifically to projects that America (CADCA) and its thousands of coalition members nationwide
specific, such as listing supplies needed for painting. develop art in public spaces, involve youth, provide anti-drug make great local Anti-Drug mural partners. CADCA members receive
messages, or are health-related. 3-inch brushes to fine
- Divide the list into categories such as types of material — Brushes 50
$150 grants to facilitate local drug prevention activities. Visit www.cadca.org
supplies/materials. to find a CADCA member near you. Other organizations that make
To apply for a foundation or corporate grant, a completed application is Used to hold various
- Place a dollar value on each item listed, and be sure to Tin pans/buckets 10 colors of paint and water $50 good partners include block and neighborhood associations, garden
budget for the unexpected. usually required. The application usually requires a description of your for rinsing brushes. groups, police stations, faith centers, and community youth centers.
- Total the dollar value of each item to determine your proposed project, samples of previous work, references, and a budget.
Paint used as the
Most grant applications are similar, so it may be less difficult than Primer 1 (5 gallon drums) first coat/layer before $250
projected budget costs.
you think to apply to several organizations at the same time. After painting.
researching the foundation or corporation’s grant guidelines, if you A type of paint used
STEP 3: Thank Your Sponsors
Factors to Consider are still unsure that your project fits the requirements, contact the Sealer 1 (5 gallon drums) to seal paint and
prevent from fading or
$250 Sponsors are happy to donate money or make in-kind contributions
The largest item on the budget is the artist’s commission. The muralist organization’s grant administrator. environment damage. to important and exciting projects that better the community, but it
will cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Often college art students is important to acknowledge their help. There are a number of ways
Used to protect floors
are eager to paint murals and will be less expensive (but they will also City Public Arts Programs Dropcloth 2 or 3 and other work areas $50 to thank your sponsors.
know less about murals). The assistant artist may work as an assistant Most city governments have offices of arts and culture and depart- from paint spills.
leader or even as the primary youth leader. There should always be ments of recreation and/or parks that may have money available to
someone other than the primary muralist to supervise youth at the fund a mural. State governments also have public art programs and Recognition on the Mural
mural site. Teachers or leaders who work specifically with your student funds to support various projects. In addition, check with your local Artist Identify how the sponsor wishes to be acknowledged and find a
councilperson’s office for a listing of offices that might be worth Fee/Commission mutually agreed upon place and size on the mural for recognition.
mural team are usually paid $8.50 to $10 an hour. Notice that this
budget does not include insurance costs; however, they are reflected contacting. Team members, such as
Fee for Paid Staff
in the administrative fees included in this budget. Research this topic (This fee can range from coordinator or supervisors Recognition in Print
2-5 people who conduct work on $1,500
for your location before completing your budget estimate. In-Kind Donations $8.50 to $20 an hour.)
behalf of the team and
List your sponsor(s) with a special “thank you” in a printed program
Materials and supplies donated from local businesses, as well as mural project. or other printed materials including signs. Also acknowledge spon-
donated time from experienced mural artists, can dramatically reduce Ten percent of total
sors in press materials such as press releases and fact sheets.
STEP 2: Secure Funding mural costs. Even small in-kind donations like painter’s caps, T-shirts
with partner or company logos, and snack foods can make mural
Administrative Fees N/A
project cost. Includes
insurance, miscellaneous $830 Recognition During the Dedication Ceremony
Now that you have determined how much the mural will cost, painting more of a fun community celebration. Larger in-kind operational costs. List your sponsors in announcements and provide an opportunity
donations like paint, scaffolding, mural space, or staging for the for a company representative to give a few remarks.
you may want to consider obtaining funds from other sources.
For example, corporations may be a good source for supplies and unveiling ceremony can make a more ambitious mural project a
Note: If your sponsor wishes to remain anonymous,
materials. After you identify your funding gaps, explore options for reality than would otherwise have been possible. Permit
(*Note: The amount listed
Issued by city
a thank-you letter to the company is sufficient.
getting the necessary additional funds, materials, and volunteers is based on the permit
process in the city of As needed agency if mural
needed to complete your mural. Grants, in-kind donations, Start by brainstorming what you and your team think will be needed Philadelphia. Please refer
will be outdoors.
to your city for permit
group fund-raisers, and community partnerships with private and and then identify local businesses that might be willing to help. Send procedures.)
nonprofit organizations that have drug prevention grants are a letter to the business along with a description of the mural project. Promotion and
key ways to get funds to complete an Anti-Drug mural. Consider Stress the benefits to the business for getting involved, and be sure Event Planning
the following suggestions to help find a funding source. to mention how the business will be recognized for participating. Be
sure to follow up within a few weeks for a response.
Projected Budget Cost: $9,130
3. Creating the VISION
Now you are ready for the development of the actual Bring a few books about murals to the planning meetings to illustrate
the range of possibilities — from the Mexican murals of Diego Rivera
project! There are a number of steps to make certain that to recent murals in California, Chicago, and Philadelphia. To get your Need some additional help in getting the team working 4. “You are going to Survivor Island. You can take two objects
everything goes smoothly and that the mural is embraced to remind you of who you are — healthy, drug-free, and
discussion started, use some of the techniques in the Discussion on creative ideas? Try these activities for inspiration. clear-headed. What will you take?”
by all of your neighbors and community partners. Ideas section on the next page to begin the conversation, or consider
conducting the activities to get the team’s creative ideas flowing. 5. Takes turns describing one thing each young person
loves about his/her neighborhood. How can these ideas be
STEP 1: Develop the Team Structure “That’s Me” Icebreaker incorporated into the mural?
Organize an initial meeting with team members. At this meeting,
describe the mural project and the steps involved. Help the team
TIMETABLE GOAL To provide an active warm-up to get young people
6. Ask the young people to close their eyes, relax, and meditate
for a few moments and then ask them to color an area two or
three inches square that represents a feeling of relaxed alert-
set a realistic timetable for completion and ask each team member seven months before unveiling: two weeks before unveiling: thinking about their various interests. ness that comes from within — not from drugs.
to commit to seeing the project through. Identify the roles and - Determine budget - Begin publicizing event
- Determine mural type - Send announcements to INSTRUCTIONS
responsibilities for each team member beginning with the planning
stage to the design of the mural. Consider roles such as project
- Find mural artist local media
- Make calls to guest list;
1. Have youth sit on the floor or in chairs. Declarations
coordinator, secretary, treasurer, public relations, and technical finalize list of 2. Instruct the group to call out various pastimes, hobbies, and
adviser. These are just a few suggestions; additional roles may
six months before unveiling:
- Form mural team those attending interests, such as fishing, sewing, or playing soccer, in a format GOAL To highlight anti-drug efforts and focus on local
be required depending on the size of your mural project. such as “Who likes …?” drug abuse prevention needs and activities.
- Scout for mural location
- Determine mural location one week before unveiling:
- Obtain insurance and permits - Finalize ceremony details 3. After the question is asked to the group, kids who are RECOMMENDED MATERIALS
One of your first team meetings might include visiting the site to interested in this particular activity will jump up and say,
- Purchase refreshments; Large sheets of white paper, flip chart, markers, “My Anti-Drug”
begin thinking as a team about how the mural should look to the “That’s me!” Continue until the entire group is standing. declaration form (see appendix), and drug information from
five months before unveiling: take care of final details
community when it is finished. Shape your “My Anti-Drug” mural to www.freevibe.com or www.theantidrug.com.
- Plan team meeting to discuss - Call press to extend
the age and abilities of your students. Work with them to select a Note: The leader may want to begin by asking about less
mural theme invitation
message for their peers and community. Use the languages that are common activities and work toward more popular activities. INSTRUCTIONS
- Determine Anti-Drug message This will make certain that the entire group is not standing 1. Discuss facts or statistics about the negative consequences
spoken in your community and images that are special to kids and two days before unveiling:
- Develop mock design after only one question.
culturally appropriate for the neighborhood. of drugs to show that there are reasons for youth to pursue their
- Plan community meetings - Review ceremony plans
with mural team
STEP 2: Find an Anti-Drug Theme four months before unveiling: Discussion Ideas: 2. Have participants list their personal reasons for not using
- Obtain materials for one day before unveiling: drugs — their own Anti-Drugs.
An Anti-Drug is an activity, person, feeling, or expression that empowers developing mural - Review ceremony plans
1. Ask the young people to write down three reasons why
with mural team 3. Create or modify the declaration provided in the appendix
youth to reject illegal drugs. Finding an Anti-Drug theme can be they would choose a drug-free lifestyle. Help them determine
fun and can provide young people with an opportunity to express three months before unveiling: - Make last-minute calls based on the ideas and input of all the participants, and put
their Anti-Drug. For example, a kid interested in sports may
- Clean and repair surface to invited press and the group’s declaration on the form.
themselves creatively. To develop an Anti-Drug theme for the mural, say “Soccer. My Anti-Drug.” Discuss how to show these
- Transfer mural design to surface other guests
the group could begin by discussing drug use and how to reject illicit reasons visually. Finally, brainstorm specific Anti-Drug themes, pictures, or
drugs. Team members can then identify specific images and mes-
- Begin painting mural
slogans. Ask the team to discuss the project and their plans
Unveiling: 2. How do kids decorate their rooms at home? What kinds of
sages unique to their community that support the “My Anti-Drug” with friends and family members. The facilitator should write
two months before unveiling: - Set up for ceremony two images and objects make them feel comfortable and able to
theme. The discussion and planning phase of the Anti-Drug mural is all the responses on a chalkboard and later review them with
- Continue to develop mural hours before ceremony cope with the day ahead? Talk about how to use these ideas in
made up of two components: - Provide equal amount of the group. Let kids help you decide which responses they like
time for cleanup afterward best. Some young people, particularly those who are interested
1. WORDS: selecting a subject or topic expressing the Anti-Drug one month before unveiling: 3. If you could give a friend one special word to help him or her in art, will “think” in terms of drawings. Notice these efforts
2. PICTURES: developing and creating a visual image of a design - Plan the unveiling ceremony and bring them to the attention of the rest of the team.
feel strong and positive about life, what would it be? Each kid
- Develop guest list; send
writes the word on a piece of paper and places it in a container.
invitations for ceremony
For example, ask the team to select words or phrases that have a - Develop publicity materials
Then everyone takes turns drawing a word. Tell them: “If you tip Make sure the language and content of the mural will
positive meaning, such as “high on life” or “music is the key to don’t like the first one, throw it back without reading it aloud. reflect the culture of the community. Include as many languages
- Plan for refreshments
But you can only throw back one. The word you accept is YOUR as your team members speak. In doing so, make sure to check
life.” Then ask the team to expand on these words and phrases by and place orders
word for the day. Use your new word in a sentence that the translation before putting them in a mural, because translated
suggesting images that represent their meaning. For example: A
expresses a positive lifestyle message.” words sometimes have unintended and undesirable meanings.
key in the shape of a music symbol unlocking a locked door can
represent the visual image of the theme “music is the key to life.”
STEP 3: Develop Mock Design STEP 5: Apply “My Anti-Drug” Branding Guidelines
Once a general theme is selected, pass out art supplies Your “My Anti-Drug” mural will not only demonstrate a positive
and have each team member develop a creative picture that message to your community but it also will benefit from a larger
expresses the Anti-Drug theme. Remember that these pictures association with the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The
should show the positive effects of not using drugs. After Campaign has established unique “brand” elements that help unify
each team member has completed a mock design, present messages, national advertising, and promotions. As you develop your
each design to the team and determine which design best mural, remember to include these branding elements.
illustrates the team’s Anti-Drug theme. The final creative
design will be the mock design for the mural.
Include the “My Anti-Drug” brand depending on what your team
chooses as its theme. The Anti-Drug can be a higher order value
(“love,” “self-respect”), a relationship (“mom,” “friends”), or an
STEP 4: Get the Community Involved activity (“reading,” “basketball”). The brand is designed to be
flexible and to support every possible creative execution.
The success of an Anti-Drug mural depends on involvement and
support from the community. The mural will become a fixture in
the community and should reflect its ideas and values. But
getting the community involved can be a challenge. Start early
by organizing a community meeting. Invite community leaders
as well as the neighbors living near the proposed mural site.
To help the team answer questions, give them copies of the
draft of the mural design, the budget, names of sponsors, and
most important, the Anti-Drug theme.
Consider selecting a meeting location that is public and convenient
such as a place of worship, school, or community center. Remember
to consider people’s work schedules and family obligations when
finding a mutually convenient meeting time.
- Use the brand signature in black and white only; no color.
Send “fliers” to every home in the neighborhood announcing the - Generate the signature using a handwritten font such as Sand.
meeting and invite friends and families to the mural unveiling - The brand device should not be enclosed in any additional
and dedication ceremony. Post an announcement at supermarkets, shapes such as boxes or circles.
community centers, and in local newspapers and/or newsletters. - The brand must not be set at an angle.
Combine the meeting with a cleanup day organized around the site - When the “What’s Your Anti-Drug?” tag line is used, the
of the proposed mural or some other community event to create preceding brackets must never be filled with any letters.
interest in the mural. Identify more ways for community members They should remain empty to allow for individuals to
to take an active part in the mural’s development. contemplate their Anti-Drug.
- The owners of the wall MUST be happy with the mural
plan. Consider meeting with them separately to be sure
of their support.
- Branding elements should be placed at the bottom on the
- A professional artist can help combine elements from far left or right corner of the mural design.
several drawings into a single design. It is easier to
paint flat shapes than shaded ones. Help students
pick a design where their talents will shine.
“What’s Your Anti-Drug?” mural
Greenbriar Mall, Atlanta 2000
In partnership with Atlanta’s 100 Black Men of America
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
4. Painting the MURAL
You’ve secured your wall, assembled your team, obtained
funding, chosen your Anti-Drug message, and designed a
Apply the paint with rollers to keep the texture consistent. Allow the
final coat to dry for at least 24 hours before you begin to transfer the
design and paint your mural.
SAMPLE MATERIALS CHECKLIST
dynamic visual presentation and won community
approval. Now you are ready to PAINT! Before beginning, When to Use Scaffolding
Materials Exterior Interior Canvas Paper Wood
When selecting a wall, remember that young painters should work on SKETCH MATERIALS
the mural surface must be prepared and, in some cases,
an area that is no higher than they can reach while standing on a low, Pencils
repaired. Here are a few steps to guide you. sturdy support. For outdoor paintings more than 6 feet high, you will
need to locate a reputable general contractor and rent scaffolding
($250–$400 a month). Only professional artists will work on the scaf- Water-Based Markers
STEP 1: Assign Roles and Responsibilities folding while the young people paint the lower portions of the mural.
Gather all team members and assign roles and responsibilities.
This allows every team member to feel some responsibility for the PAINTING MATERIALS
project. For example, there should be a team member in charge Step 4: Transfer Design to Surface Caulk or Filler
of materials, one to review the overall mural development, one or (Sealkrete, gesso and sand mixture)
Now that you have chosen your design, your artist will likely
more to work directly with youth, and one or two people to plan Chalk Line in Red or Blue or a Combination
choose one of the following methods, or a combination, to
the dedication ceremony.
complete the transfer of the mural design to the surface. Listed Yardstick, Measuring Tape, or Rulers
are the most popular techniques. If the surface is large (taller
than 8 feet), you will need to have scaffolding in place before Primer in White or Buff Latex Paint or Gesso
STEP 2: Determine Materials Needed the artist begins drawing.
Consider the type of mural that is being developed. Each
Freehand Mural Paint
mural type has specific material needs. The following materials
The oldest technique of wall painting is freehand or direct painting.
are standard for painting interior and exterior murals. Artists’ Acrylic Paint or Latex
This technique is best-suited for expressive subjects such as flowers,
sky, water, and trees. Freehand is not recommended for a mural Brushes
(various sizes from two inches wide)
portrait, for example. If you are lettering by freehand, use a straight
STEP 3: Prepare Surface for Work edge and make right angles. The disadvantage of freehand painting Mixing Trays, Tins, Plastic Tubs, or Old Containers
for a team of painters is the obvious variation of style from one
Clean the Surface Cafeteria Trays, Baking Sheets, or Muffin Tins
painter to another. However, if your team is painting individual
Cleaning and preparing a wall for a mural is sometimes called buffing
sections (for example, canvas panels), each by an individual artist, Cleaning Supplies
the wall. An old exterior wall should be washed with a bleach solu- (soap, buckets, rags, paper towels)
freehand painting can be a perfect option.
tion. Use a power hose on peeling paint. Unless the walls are new,
Sealer With UV Protection
interior walls should be washed with detergent and carefully rinsed.
Direct Projection Dropcloth or Newspaper to Protect Floors
A photograph can be digitized as a slide, projected onto the wall, and
Repair the Surface Copies of the Final Sketch of the Mural
traced. You can also lightly write notes, which will be painted over
Fill cracks and chips in older walls with Sealkrete or a mixture of
later, to help the team find its way around the tracing when painting. Collage Materials
gesso and fine sand; both are available at most local hardware stores.
Ordinary, nondigitized slides and images in an overhead projector can (magazines, colored or patterned paper, fabric,
If the wall is outdoors, clean the area in front of the mural, removing sequins, glitter, and photos)
also be traced. If your mural is outdoors, projections should take place
debris and leaves that might blow onto the wet paint. Repeat this
at night when it is dark. When using a projector, you may have to Glue Sticks or White Glue
process often during painting.
experiment a bit to find the correct distance for projecting the mural.
If the mural is large (two stories tall), the tracing may take several
Prime the Surface Tape
evenings to complete. Nighttime activities could attract a good deal of
Let dry for at least 24 hours. The clean, dry wall should be primed
interest within the community. For example, a neighborhood block Oil Sticks
with three coats of white or off-white latex exterior house paint or
party with refreshments, music and fliers explaining your Anti-Drug
primer to cover up existing graffiti and make the wall color uniform. Colored Pencils
project could be held at the same time as nighttime activities.
Note: Hundreds of everyday household products, such as paint and
STEP 5: Select Paint for Mural paint thinners are used as inhalants by kids to get a quick high by
Before you begin painting, consider the type of mural and its sniffing directly from an open container or “huffing” from a rag
location. It is important to consider the effects that the seasons soaked in the substance held to the face. Inhaling such products
THE GRID SYSTEM: will have on the painted surface. If the surface will constantly
be exposed to strong sun, wind, and rain, use paint that will
not weather easily to preserve the mural.
intentionally can cause heart palpitations, breathing difficulty,
dizziness, and headaches in the short term and damage to the
brain, nerve cells, heart, and lungs in the long term.”
The most popular method of transferring a drawing to a wall is Make sure that you have purchased a yardstick, level, chalk
the grid method. Make your finished drawing of the mural in line, and chalk at your local hardware store. You will also
the same proportion as the wall you’ll be painting. If the wall need a carpenter’s pencil. Best Paint for Outdoor Murals
is an irregular shape, either copy that shape exactly onto paper The best paint for outdoor murals is a UV-protected acrylic (protected
or impose a rectangle onto the wall. You can then paint the Starting from the left, measure and mark with your pencil against ultraviolet light damage). If a UV-protected acrylic is not
area outside the rectangle a solid color as a kind of “frame” 1 foot by 1 foot all the way across and all the way down to available, use exterior latex house paint.
for the picture within. match your grid. Use your level to ensure that the marks are
in line. Then, using your chalk line, line up the line to the Best Paint for Indoor Murals
First, create a grid of 1-inch-by-1-inch squares over your entire vertical 1-foot marks and snap all of your vertical lines.
Liquitex acrylic or other artists’ acrylic paints are used for indoor
design. If you make photocopies of your drawing, you can draw Repeat this technique with the horizontal lines. You will
murals. If your indoor mural is exposed to a lot of sun, consider a
your grid right on one of these without damaging the original need at least three people to complete this job.
drawing. Otherwise, use acetate or tracing paper. You can get UV-protected acrylic. Latex paints can be used indoors and outdoors.
either of these at an art supply store. Number all of the boxes You should now see on the wall a grid that looks identical to Although latex is not as colorfast as acrylics, it comes in a variety
across the top of your design and letter all of the boxes down the grid on your design. Now, transfer the contents of each of colors and is less expensive.
the side of your design. block in your design to the corresponding block on the wall.
Remember to work block to block. Don’t try to view the whole Painting Process
Once your design has its 1-inch-by-1-inch grid, create a wall at once. By working block to block, one at a time, your Working with a professional artist, plan the stages of painting giving
proportional grid on the wall of 1-foot-by-1-foot squares. design will be transferred perfectly.
each team specific assignments. Start with broad areas of flat color
(background) allowing inexperienced painters to build confidence.
Finish with details or areas of shading.
Periodically, the whole team should step back and critique the
progress of the mural. Discuss changes and additions needed. As the
mural nears completion, ask your team to consider how visually uni-
fied it looks. Can it be made more unified? It is worth the extra time
and effort to make your Anti-Drug mural as beautiful, memorable,
and legible as possible since it will be a permanent fixture in the
community. Start your final corrections and touch-ups at the top of
the mural and work down so drips can be covered.
Sealing the Mural
When the mural is complete and dry, you have the option of applying a
sealer coat. This will protect the mural, and the light will reflect evenly
from all the colors. The best sealer is clear acrylic, which offers ultra-
violet light protection. DO NOT USE POLYURETHANE. It dissolves
acrylic paint! Make sure a thin coat is applied with brushes or rollers.
“What’s Your Anti-Drug?” mural
Step 6: Cleanup
21st Annual Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC),
New York 2001
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
At the end of every painting session, leave time for cleanup.
Emphasize simple rules for keeping materials in good condition for
reuse. Lids should be tightly covered. All paint tins and brushes must
be washed thoroughly. (When exposed to air for an extended period
of time, acrylic paints will become hard and will not be suitable for
Detail of mural design for “Songs. My Anti Drug.”
3413 Haverford Avenue, 2002 reuse. If paint has dried on the brushes, you will not be able to use
Artist: Donald Gensler
© Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts them again). Gather the clean supplies and place them in your
Program and Donald Gensler
Sponsored by: AT&T Wireless storage area at the end of the day. If it is an outdoor mural,
remember to remove any trash or unwanted materials.
5. Promoting and
A mural dedication celebrates the mural’s relationship to
the community and young muralists’ skill, creativity,
and teamwork. The ceremony is also a good way to thank
everyone who worked on the project. The dedication
Local supermarkets, restaurants, or other businesses may donate
refreshments and paper goods for your event, but also consider
preparing the food. When neighbors prepare food for the party, the
dedication becomes a truly unique and special event.
STEP 3: Publicize Your Event
Develop a Press Advisory
Once the date for the dedication and major guests are lined up, you
can develop a press advisory to generate additional interest before the
reinforces each team member’s sense of social responsibility event (see sample advisory in appendix). Your press advisory should
and confidence in their ability to achieve complex, answer all the important questions — who, what, when, where, why,
real-life goals. STEP 2: Determine Elements and how. See a sample press advisory in the appendix section.
Needed for a Dedication Program Other Media Opportunities
Scale the celebration to your mural. The larger and more public it Mural Development. As you plan the mural, you may want to call
is, the more ambitious your plans should be. Start planning the your local newspapers and television stations to give them the
Determine who should participate in the dedication program. You
dedication for an outdoor mural early. You need this time to contact opportunity to write about or film the mural’s development from start
may want to ask an important community leader, like the mayor
media sources in order to draw their attention to the mural. Engage to finish. Send a media advisory (see above) to local press giving
or city councilperson, to officially dedicate the mural. Provide
journalists in the early stages of painting. The dedication ceremony them the location of the project, its history for development, and any
your sponsor(s) with an opportunity to share and say a few words
should be announced in newspapers before the event. additional information that will appeal to community leaders.
regarding their participation. Also include a spokesperson from the
“What’s Your Anti-Drug?” mural
mural team. Prepare mural team members on questions about the Greenbriar Mall, Atlanta 2000
In partnership with Atlanta’s 100 Black Men of America
Dedication Ceremony. Consider inviting local, community, and
mural and what it means to them. National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
STEP 1: Plan the Details of the college television, radio, or print media to the dedication ceremony.
The more press attending, the greater the opportunity will be to have
Dedication Ceremony Budget permitting, feature a local band, poet, singer, dancer, or your mural recognized. You will want to send a press advisory to
other entertainer, or consider bringing upbeat music on a tape or these places, but also send an invitation to attend the dedication.
When the painting timeline is developed, set a tentative date for
the unveiling ceremony. Choose a day and time that will draw a CD and decorating the area around the mural dedication to give Consider community centers, community newsletters, and other
crowd; a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is ideal. Build in several it a celebratory feel. Radio stations will often broadcast live from activity boards around town for promoting your event.
extra weeks to complete the mural in case of bad weather or community events and bring promotional items to attract a crowd.
Printed Program tip For best media coverage, send a press release one month
A printed program for your dedication ceremony also should include in advance of your event. Send another two weeks ahead. Call
Select Invited Guests information about the mural and the mural team and should acknowl-
Creating your Anti-Drug community mural involved a lot of people — a week before and the day before the event and follow up.
edge the sponsors. The program can be a simple sheet of paper or a
neighbors, community leaders, businesses, and sponsors. An invitation
more elaborate pamphlet. A member of the mural team could design
should be extended to all who made this event and mural possible.
it, or perhaps there is a local graphic artist who would be willing to
donate time to develop and copy the program for distribution at
Develop a simple, inexpensive invitation for broad community
distribution such as a flier or post card. Distribute fliers throughout Step 4: Share Your Success With Us
the neighborhood a week in advance. Give each team member copies
of fliers for friends and family. Send invitations to or telephone We would love to see your work. Send your success pictures and
team members, sponsors, and anyone who assisted in making the information about your “My Anti-Drug” mural to the National Youth
Anti-Drug Media Campaign, 1615 L St. N.W., Suite 1000,
project possible. Personally invite community elders, teachers, and
Washington, D.C. 20036. Your mural could be included in the
other respected local residents. Hand out fliers to passers-by at the
Campaign’s national media outreach and Web site promotion.
last painting (sealing) session. Invite representatives of organizations
that might support your next Anti-Drug mural. Invite journalists
who might be interested in your story. Consider the location and Broad and Spring Garden Streets, 1998
Artist: Meg Saligman
travel requirements for your mural to make sure that journalists © Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program
and Meg Saligman
are able to attend the event and meet story deadlines. Sponsored by: Mid-Atlantic Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation, PA
Council of the Arts, Ellis Gimbel Charitable Trust, Ernst & Young,
National Endowment for the Arts, City of Philadelphia
Photograph by: Jack Ramsdale
Press Advisory Template
My Anti-Drug Declaration:
Media Contacts: Jane Smith
[ORGANIZATION] TO DEDICATE ANTI-DRUG MURAL
BY AREA ARTIST AND LOCAL CHILDREN
WHO: [Jane Smith], Director of [your organization’s mural program]; artist
[artist’s name]; staff and clients of the [partnering organization or
major donor]; other supporters [list names]; and neighbors.
Invited guests include Mayor [name]; city council members [names];
and [give names and titles of other dignitaries and major guests].
Students from the [local middle school] talk about the “My Anti-Drug”
mural theme and the [local middle school band] will perform. Name Anti-Drug
WHAT: Dedication of the city’s first Anti-Drug Mural —
[Name of mural, ie “Communication Is the Anti-Drug”]
WHERE: [Street address and city in bold type]
WHEN: [Date and time in bold type]
DETAILS: Titled “Communication Is the Anti-Drug,” the new mural by artist
[artist], working with 12 students from [location], unites a band of
painted figures by young muralists with colorful images of young
people engaged in creative activities. The [xx] foot-high by [xx]
foot-wide wall appeals to an audience of all ages.
The project, which was [artist’s] first mural, was sponsored by the [major
sponsor and other sponsors]. Paint and supplies for the mural were donated
by [local hardware store].
About the National Youth About AT&T Wireless
Anti-Drug Media Campaign Through sponsorship of the Mural Guide, AT&T Wireless reflects
In 1998, with the bipartisan support of Congress and the
its commitment to investing in and strengthening the company's Drug Abuse Prevention Resources
ties to the communities where it does business and where its
President, ONDCP created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media
employees live and work. Through partnerships with leading
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
Campaign, an effort designed to educate and empower youth The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s
nonprofit organizations, AT&T Wireless' Community Connections
to reject illicit drugs. Counting on an unprecedented blend of National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is
program provides financial support, in-kind donations, volunteer
public and private partnerships, nonprofit community service an initiative created to educate and enable
support, and other resources in the areas of public safety, America’s youth to reject illicit drugs. Visit any
organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications,
community education, and family communications. To of the Media Campaign’s Web sites for youth,
the Campaign is designed to reach Americans of diverse
learn more about Community Connections, please visit parents, and concerned adults:
backgrounds wherever they live, learn, work, play, and
practice their faith.
• www.theantidrug.com • www.freevibe.com
AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) is the largest independently traded Learn how to talk to your kids about drugs.
Find resources to empower kids
wireless carrier in the United States, following our split from This award-winning site encourages parents to
on decision-making and how to
About MAP AT&T on July 9, 2001. We operate one of the largest digital
wireless networks in North America. With 20.2 million
help their children with these difficult issues
by offering information from behavioral experts
express what keeps them from doing
drugs. Designed with bulletin boards
as well as from other parents.
The Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program subscribers, and full-year 2001 revenues exceeding $13.6 and role-playing games, this site
(MAP) is a public art program that works in partnership with billion, AT&T Wireless is committed to being among the first provides youth with information on the
to deliver the next generation of wireless products and services.
• www.mediacampaign.org dangers of substance abuse and making
community residents, grass roots organizations, government
Obtain resources and links for the Media
agencies, educational institutions, corporations, and philanthropic Today, we offer customers high-quality mobile wireless responsible decisions with their lives.
Campaign Partners and community groups.
groups to design and create murals of enduring value while communications services, voice or data, to businesses or
The site includes information about the
actively engaging youth in the process. consumers, in the U.S. and internationally. AT&T Wireless CADCA – www.cadca.org
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign’s
Customer Advantage is our commitment to ensure that Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
drug abuse prevention programs, activities,
(CADCA) is the premier national membership
For more information, contact: customers have the right equipment, the right calling plan, and strategies. You may find press releases,
organization and represents more than 5,000
The Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program and the right customer services options -- today and tomorrow. announcements, and quarterly newsletter, as
community anti-drug coalitions nationwide,
1729 Mt. Vernon Street For more information, please visit us at www.attwireless.com well as downloadable Anti-Drug banners that
providing training, information, and support.
Philadelphia, PA 19130 can be posted on Web sites.
These coalitions are local partnerships between
Phone: (215) 685-0750 parents, teachers, young people, law enforcement,
Web site: www.muralarts.org • www.teachersguide.org health providers, the faith community, business
Find drug abuse prevention resources
and civic leaders, elected officials, and
and ideas for classroom activities.
concerned citizens who unite and mobilize
Teachersguide.org provides ideas to
to make their communities safe, healthy,
incorporate drug abuse prevention messages
and drug-free — one community at a time.
into lesson plans, classroom activities,
teaching tips, and discussion activities that
deter students from using drugs.