Murals for Movement

A Peacemaking Project by Murals for Movement M.

What is the injustice we are solving?

I want to change the injustice of the way humans consume and discard plastic. These actions are unjust to animals and wildlife living in lakes, rivers, and oceans. And eventually- we're doing ourselves an injustice too. The microplastics that we discard get consumed by plankton, fish, and other wildlife and that makes it way back to us in the seafood we serve our families.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of plastic pollution
we will address the lack of awareness and urgency of the issue
by painting a mural that will be a landmark for discussion whilst engaging elementary school students so our future leaders are equipped with the knowledge to advocate for environmental change.

Our Project Plan:


  • 1. Engage at least 80 elementary school students in the local area
  • 2. Start project early June and finish before July
  • 3. Produce a small education curriculum for elementary/ middle school artists about plastic pollution to inform the next generation!
  • 4. Mural directly addresses the issue of plastic pollution, in a striking but inclusive way.

We will increase my / our compassion by...

Viewing the situation from other's point of view and understanding why people in the Midwest don't view plastic pollution as a huge issue- but informing them responsibly of the problem.

How will you show courage?

Teaching large groups of youth in the area and connecting with companies to push for changes in plastic use.

How will you collaborate with others?

Other students, schools in the area, artists, and corporations

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

Number of people who attend the mural unveiling ceremony. Number of kids who help paint. Number of metal straws distributed.

Key Steps

  • Get funding for project
  • Find a wall
  • Make final sketch
  • Engage 80-100 kids
  • Increase promotion and awareness for plastic pollution
  • Unveiling party!

Our Updates:

TED talk mentorship

Murals for Movement M.
3 April 2019 22:03
Speaker Lacy Starling came in to speak to our high school peers who are the TED talk candidate! Fun, information- filled workshop for better speaking skills.

Created a color digital illustration for mural!

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 22:45
We met with the City to get approval for the location of the mural and got an approval for a black and white version of the mural. Using pen + paper, then Adobe Illustrator , we created a digital rendition of the mural. The colored digital version will be sent to the City of Mason for approval for the final mural.

met with local muralist!

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 22:56
Our team of students met with local muralist Evan Hildebrandt (who worked on large-scale projects around Downtown Cincinnati) to discuss the best supplies and materials to ensure a smooth and beautiful final product. He also taught us a stippling technique that makes it faster to work on murals and faster process! Evan also helped to review some of our drafts of possible mural ideas.

Super fun day for sure:) We're super thankful for the time and advice he volunteered for us!

Secured a wall!

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 23:15
After speaking to MANY local stores and getting repeatedly turned down, we finally located a perfect wall in Downtown Mason with a supportive building owner that is giving us (almost) full freedom to paint what we'd like and really go full force with the message. It is currently yellow/ red which we will paint over.

Super glad we can do this!

Looking for more sponsors/ grants!

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 23:17
Now that we've gotten our wall, sketches, and permits in place, we've still got to look for more sponsors and grants to actually make this ambitious project a reality. We're looking to local companies and organizations like Peace First!

quick change of direction

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 23:21
Because the financial aspect of the mural is problematic, we've decided to put the mural on hold for a bit as we search for more sources of funding. Once we've got that, we can get started right away!

Our team is also writing a children's book, for the same goal as the mural- drive engagement amongst the community (especially youth) in environmental efforts. We also want to bolster environmental literacy that so often gets forgotten (esp in the Midwest!)

We're still eager to start the mural, but we've ran into a few roadblocks that led to us taking on this side project while our financial team searches for grants.

Wrote book manuscript

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 23:22
We finished writing the book manuscript that is targeted towards children. Short, sweet, but to the point it comes just under 500 words which is the optimal length for children's short attention spans. It follows the story of Ally the Alligator!

Starting illustrations in Photoshop

Murals for Movement M.
27 September 2019 23:26
After LOTs of trial and error, starting with Procreate on the Ipad, moving to pen + paper, then Adobe Illustrator, and finally photoshop, the artists on our team illustrated a full 24 page children's book! take a look at some of the illustrations- aren't they great?

The sketches that were pen and inked were scanned into Illustrator and filled with color which really increased the efficiency.

The grant from PEACE FIRST was instrumental in our ability to buy the Adobe software needed to create the digital illustrations for the mural and book.


Brennan L. Peace First Staff
8 October 2019 13:45
Hey team,

This is Brennan from the Peace First staff. Awesome to see your updates here! Thanks for posting so many photos and notes on where your work is heading. It sounds like you've done a great job of emphasizing flexibility, even though you ran into barriers while trying to create the mural. What's next for you? How do you plan to share out content from the children's book? I love seeing how you've incorporated art in different ways to help others learn. I'm also curious where your financial team is looking for funding sources for the mural. I wonder if there's a chance that the local government or a community nonprofit might be willing to pitch in some funds. Happy to think through this together if that's helpful!

Let me know if there is anything that the Peace First team can do to support you!

Murals for Movement M.
15 October 2019 0:50
Hi Brennan,
Thanks for your response. We published the book to Amazon. You can check it out here:

We've mainly been looking to corporate sponsors right now-- larger companies who are looking to make a dent in the environmental problem. Unfortunately, a lot of these companies have a pretty long turnaround rate. Do you have any advice on who to first approach to find sponsors within the local government? Or other mini-grants?

Thanks for you help :)