Non-Profit Spotlight: Living Walls
Living Walls is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that creates public art around the city founded by Artist Monica Campana in 2010. Since then, they have facilitated over 150 public murals throughout the Metro Atlanta area and established Atlanta as a cultural center for street art. In a TedxAtlanta talk, Campana said, “street art has the power to connect, engage, and humanize our public spaces.” She says she has witnessed blank walls transform into places for “dialogue, reflection, and even necessary conflict.”
The organization works with local and international artists to produce works of art that channel the “spirit and culture of local communities” and enhance urban spaces. They’ve curated work for Adult Swim, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and AT&T, among others, in addition to independent mural projects across the city. Their 2021 projects are all available on their website, along with artist statements and biographies.
Living Walls promotes four values.
- Creating a sense of place. Atlanta’s identity is central to Living Walls. Pride in the city and its unique “history, characteristics, and challenges are part of [their] DNA.”
- Accessibility. Living Walls’ art is entirely free to see and experience.
- Empowerment. The artwork aims to inspire citizens to take ownership of their environments.
- Creative Freedom. Living Walls supports artists’ artistic vision and seeks to balance vision with community engagement.
Start Talking. Stop HIV.
Inspired by the #StartTalkingStopHIV campaign, Living Walls launched a series designed to spark an HIV/AIDS prevention conversation. The project ultimately aimed to reduce HIV infections by inspiring an open dialogue through panel discussions and mural unveilings. They partnered with other organizations like Southern Fried Queer Pride and Out Front Theatre for the project, and you can check out their 2020 recap here.
Signs of Solidarity ATL
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Living Walls partnered with the CDC to create works of public art encouraging the community to get vaccinated. The project Signs of Solidarity was created in 2017 to address social issues while inspiring community engagement. Before COVID, Signs of Solidarity featured voting rights and Atlanta diversity.
They created 32 mini-grants to spread positivity and awareness to communities and support artists affected by COVID-19. You can learn more about their COVID-19 response in 2020 by watching their 2020 Year in Review.
Living Walls creates “intentional, thought-provoking public art to inspire social change and activate public spaces.” They do great work producing socially relevant and poignant art that creates a dialogue and brightens up communities.