Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, Golden, CO - "Community" 30' x 13'

Murals of Hope Programming

What we do

The Emanuel Project provides engaging art experiences through an incentive mural program for at-risk youth across the nation.

The focal point of the Emanuel Project is the unique opportunity for students to work side by side in painting a mural with the nationally renowned painter, sculptor and muralist Emanuel Martinez. The program has a powerful impact towards improving the lives of at-risk youth by assisting youth to strengthen communication skills, build self-esteem and bolster academic performance through a mural process.

Through multiple surveys research conducted by the Emanuel Project has found that at-risk youth who otherwise would not have remained calm through their daily activities, are relaxed by pouring their energies into an art project, where they can express themselves freely. Incentive programs also encourage the youth to follow direction and rules, so that they may participate in art projects.

“The impact the mural project has on the kids who work on the mural is pretty phenomenal, but even more so, is the powerful impact it has on the kids who get to see the mural on a daily basis.”
Emanuel Martinez

As an incentive program, at risk youth are able to participate in creating murals of hope with renowned artist Emanuel Martinez, for whom the project is named.  The youth are selected to participate by facility staff based on their behavior and classroom success. During the mural process, the youth are able to interact with Emanuel on a personal level, and learn how he went from an incarcerated youth himself to a successful, nationally renowned artist today. Emanuel is passionate about sharing his story and his art with the youth at each facility, and encourages them to make choices that will positively change their lives.

This program is supported through research, which provides evidence based documentation regarding the positive impact of art programing on the lives of at-risk youth.

“This mural has a timeless, universal message to all of us. Through education, we can free ourselves from crime, ignorance and boredom and achieve our highest potential.”
Emanuel Martinez