Unlikely team creates mural project

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 17, 2010 at 6:06 PM

SEATTLE - It started off as a way to spruce up a corner.

"It's almost a timeline mural from left to right. The seniors' perspective to the youth perspective," says Youth 180 founder Gabriel Ladd as she shows us a new mural put together by members of the Southeast Senior Center and teens from the gang prevention group Youth 180.

The two groups spent 8 months designing and painting the mural, and along the way, something deeper developed.

"When we first started, there was some kind of a tension, like how are we going to get to know them? But when we were discussing about the mural, that was it," says senior center member Kay Endo.

It's a connection that can be felt through the fabric of the mural.

"At first you think the seniors don't like the youth and stuff," says 18-year-old Darius Hedgemon. "But as you work with them, they're just like the young people and like to see them do good."

"Oh yes, these young boys are nice, I like them," jokes Endo as she pats Youth 180 member Greg Pollydore on the shoulder.

Pollydore responds by saying, "The connection is like another grandma."

Through the connection, it's an open dialog about the past and the present.

"Stuff like the dial telephone, they couldn't even imagine that," says Martha Gilliam.

Two groups that often avoid each other, are now face to face and proud of what they've done - together.

"To see something positive come out of this corner is very meaningful," said Ruth Egger with Southeast Seattle Senior Center.

The two groups plan to collaborate on future projects. This project was funded by the Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grant.

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