The Shafter Dreams Mural project was initiated by five 3rd and 4th grade Shafter Learning Center students in October 2019. We have since been working with them and their families to provide oversight and fundraising support to bring their vision to fruition. We approached the proprietor, La Hacienda Market, to secure the space for the mural’s installation and brought in local artist, Lorena Castillo, to come up with the design. Additional partners on this project include: Arts Council of Kern, City of Shafter, Shafter Learning Center, Ebeneezer Reformed Church, Target, Rotary, GAF, and the Wonderful Co.
The five students who sparked the idea for this project have been involved in the mural process all along the way. Because this mural was proposed to be located in the downtown core of the City, it required City Council approval. In order to secure this approval, the students presented to the Shafter City Council at their March 2020 council meeting.
Due to the pandemic, the students were unable to solicit feedback in person at the proposed Dia Del Nino event in March 2020 as they had planned, but were instead able to use Listen to Shafter’s social media channels to gather community ideas. Once the feedback was collected and a job description posted, the students reviewed the submitted designs and read through resumes in order to select a muralist to bring their dream to life.
After gathering the proposals, the students selected Lorena Castillo to be the artist who would execute their vision. Lorena painted her first mural at the age of sixteen and has a number of them on display around Santa Cruz county. We are glad to have her expertise and local knowledge brought to this project and the students are thrilled to get to work with her. Lorena began work on the wall on Monday, March 29th and is now putting the finishing touches on it.
We are so proud of the dedication of these five Shafter Learning Center students and families to this mural project! When we encourage our local students to embrace the Shafter Learning Center’s motto of “Have Dreams”, it should come as no surprise to us that their dreams will have a positive impact on our community. We are also thrilled that through this process we have discovered a very talented and passionate local muralist in Lorena Castillo. Without the dream of these five students, Lorena would not have had this opportunity to share her gifts with us!
If you are interested in learning more about this project or if you would like to see more murals around town, please reach out to us and we will add your contact information to our public art mailing list.