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ILYA Team Joins Mural Project


Betty Wier, coordinator Maggie Boone, Lynn Ingersoll, Barbara Crowell, and supervising artist John Donato


Many children in foster care have experienced things that aren’t so nice—and don't know how to express their feelings about them. But thanks to the recent Family Court Mural Project, some of these children got a chance to explore those feelings in a safe and creative environment. These are the teens that Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) at First Unitarian Church supports.

Lynn Ingersoll and a group of First U volunteers—including Family Court Judge Barbara Crowell—stopped by the Delaware College of Art and Design the other day to help out. Lynn sent the following report and gallery of photos.

Colorful as they are, these photos in no way capture the spirit of the process I was privileged to take part in yesterday. Like the mural itself, the atmosphere in the DCAD gallery was a high octane mix of creativity and emotion, seasoned with the laughter and playfulness of youth. The kids and John Donato, the talented and charismatic art coach and project leader, have captured so much words could never describe. They have displayed a gamut of experience — from pain to hope and determination — on a succession of panels that, for years to come, will comfort and ground foster children as they enter the courtroom, feeling lonely, helpless and afraid. The wonderful vision for the mural came from our own Judge Barbara! How wonderful to share an hour with her as it takes color and form. Notice Betty Wier’s paintbrush! She’s adding color to a rainbow over a church. John sketched that in at Barbara’s request yesterday, allowing us to paint our own rainbow — symbolizing First Unitarian and our ILYA project. When the mural is finished today, the letters ILYA will appear in the rainbow. I am still smiling.

[photo gallery currently unavailable]