Intersections of art, youth, and community development in Salvador, Brazil

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Phillips, Allison Michelle, 1974-

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This thesis explores the role of youth and arts in community development in Salvador, Brazil through a case study of the Projeto Grafita Salvador (Salvador Graffiti Project). The Projeto Grafita Salvador is a program that employs 47 youth graffiti artists and 3 visual artists to paint murals throughout the city. The municipal program, whose objectives are social inclusion and city beautification was formed in 2005. Interviews with graffiti artists involved in the Projeto suggest that it supports many aspects of community development such as strengthening ties between community members, increasing individual and community pride, and providing access to financial and material resources. While this program has been highly successful on many levels, there are a number of areas for improvement that would enhance participant experiences as well as extend the reach of its benefits to more youth in Salvador. This program also is an interesting model to address issues related to graffiti in urban areas, with the possibility to be adapted to other contexts in Brazil, Latin America, and beyond.


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