Last year, Chief Jim Cervera and the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) leadership team devised a way to reach out to young people in the community. Virginia Beach students were invited to submit designs for a mural, one of which would be painted on a wall at the Second Precinct where it would remain for a year. Last year, the winning design was submitted by students from the Renaissance Academy. The “Mural Project” was so well received that even more schools are participating this year.
The theme for 2013 was tied to the city’s 50th anniversary. Students were asked to offer ideas related to what they believe Virginia Beach will look like 50 years from now in 2063. The image submitted had to be positive and represent the artistic imagination of the students. Eleven designs were submitted, and now it is time to determine which rendering should grace the lobby of the Second Precinct, located at 820 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Starting today, anyone may vote on the rendering they like best via the city’s Facebook Page. Individuals may vote once daily through Monday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.
The winner of the public vote will be announced at a reception to be held at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located at 2200 Parks Avenue Virginia Beach, on Tuesday, October 29 from 6 – 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and is a finale to the close of the city’s month-long celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month.
Councilman Glenn Davis will read a proclamation, present certificates to participants and unveil the winner. After the ceremony has concluded, guests are welcome to enjoy refreshments and browse museum exhibits. Visitors to MOCA that night can enjoy the following:
· FREE Admission to current exhibitions until 9pm:
· Gallery Scavenger Hunt
· FREE iPod Audio Tours
· Interactive ARTLab –hands on art activities inspired by the exhibitions and Hampton Roads trivia
Chief Cervera and his staff teamed with representatives from the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, the Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs, MOCA and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) to make it all happen.
“We continue to strive to build a strong relationship with local youth through creative activities such as the Mural Project,” says Captain Gallagher, commanding officer of the Second Precinct. “This is a good example of bridging the gap between police officers and the citizens they protect and serve, through art - our effort is fostering mutual respect, understanding and a willingness to work together.”
“At MOCA, we believe art is essential to how we learn and develop as individuals,” says Debi Gray, Executive Director. “We’re happy to support arts projects such as this which stimulate creative thinking and dialogue throughout the Hampton Roads community.”
Art teachers have embraced the idea as well. “Decades of research demonstrate that art is closely linked to nearly everything that we desire for our children and demand of our schools,” says Anne Wolcott, Coordinator, Fine Arts, VBCPS. “From academic performance, to social development and civic engagement – it can all be tied to an education in the arts.”
“Virginia Beach has one of the lowest violent crime rates for a city of its size in the country. A large part of that is due to the hard work of officers like Captain Gallagher who constantly find ways to engage the communities they serve,” says Emily Spruill Labows, Director, of the Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs. “And, art is an ideal medium to do it. We’re thrilled to join the thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation in celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month to honor the efforts of artists, historians, teachers, and cultural groups working to make the arts and humanities a part of everyone’s life.”
Virginia Beach citizens who may not have Internet access at home may visit any Virginia Beach Public Library to use the public computers to vote.