The Emanuel Project is named for Emanuel Martinez who was incarcerated at the age of 13 and found his escape through art using burnt matchsticks to express himself on toilet paper and paper towels until a staff member noticed his artwork and opened his eyes to a whole new world. Today, he is a nationally renowned artist, sculptor and muralist whose work is on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and whose murals have been a component of marketing for Reebok and Mountain Dew. His life story inspired the start of the Emanuel Project which is now being implemented in dozens of organizations which support at risk youth across the nation.
Through a powerful mural process, Emanuel helps at risk youth cope with the negative stigmas and self esteem. He designs colorful, large scale murals with positive messages concerning education, goals and career choices and helps youth realize, through education, they can achieve their dreams and turn their lives around.