As we grow older, we forget how it is to see the world through the eyes of a child. They understand more than you think. Just because they're young, doesn't mean they're not affected by events in our community and nation. 

Encouraging youth to develop their creative potential

The Youth Art Team consists of young artists, ages 7-17, that come together from diverse life situations to complete exceptional works of art that let their voices be heard.

According to a press release, Peace Together, is the Youth Art Team’s collaborative project that developed seven large-scale portraits of persons, places, or events in Waterloo’s 1960-1970s civil rights history. The seven teams consisting of members of the Youth Art Team and students from Kingsley and Lowell Elementary Schools worked with one another, and the artists “pieced together” each portrait working on individual 8x10” canvases. The framed portraits tell a larger story about the community and are on display and open to the public at the Waterloo Center for the Arts (WCA) through August 31.

Credit - Youth Art Team

Our Freedom Story mural

The project puts faces to Our Freedom Story, the 3,000-square-foot mural of Waterloo’s civil rights history. Many of the team members, were part of the 150 young artists that came together in 2019 to create the mural on the walls along the bank of the Cedar River. The mural tells stories from the years surrounding 1968, a year of heightened racial tensions locally and nationwide.

“The stories the artists heard as they interviewed community members inspired their artwork and the name they gave their mural,” said Heidi Fuchtman, executive and creative director of Youth Art Team.


Credit - Youth Art Team

Unfortunately (as we reported) in mid-April the mural was vandalized and extensive repainting was needed to cover the spray-painted graffiti.

The Youth Art Team needed a new space to spread out and dream big. In December of 2020, they found Waterloo’s historic Masonic Temple building at 325 E Park Ave, Suite 101. The Youth Art Team is non-profit and relies on individual donations for support. To make a donation click here

Credit - Youth Art Team

Scroll down for a virtual tour of the Our Freedom Story mural in Waterloo

Our Freedom Story mural - downtown Waterloo

Take a walk along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo to view this 3,000-square-foot mural of the city's civil rights history shown abstractly through lines, shapes, and colors. Located behind the Waterloo Center for the Arts (near the Highway 63 bridge). Created by the Waterloo Youth Art Team.

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