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Strong Women, Strong Girls

Ryan McEntee

Strong Women, Strong Girls

131 Willow Ave. , Somerville

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This switchbox was created by Strong Women, Strong Girls at the Brown School, an afterschool program that seeks to empower elementary school girls by building supportive female communities. We collectively created this design based on all of our ideas about what it means to be strong. As one participant said, “The most challenging part was figuring out what to do…because everybody wanted to do a different thing but then we had to compromise.”

The creation of this box was a meaningful bonding experience for our group and increased our understanding of how community art can be a powerful tool for social change. One participant reflected that for her, the process was about “having fun and also working as a team and getting stuff accomplished and it makes you feel good.” Another said, “I liked that we worked together to make something that everyone can see.” Passersby encouraged us throughout the painting process. One participant commented: “It makes me feel like people in Somerville are really supportive. It’s community, together. Even if we don’t know them, we feel like we know everybody in town.”
We hope our switchbox will encourage viewers' sense of self-worth and will stand as an example of how art can empower and inspire. As one participant said, she hopes that viewers “will think that it’s amazing that since there’s usually only one person making a box, here it’s an entire group of girls making the box.” -- Nikki Bank

Completed May 2015