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Art At Work Program Hopes To Inspire Baltimore Youth, Instill Pride In Communities

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Art has the power to inspire and heal communities.

In Baltimore, there's one program offering young people a way to do just that.

Along York Road in northeast Baltimore, you'll find a new mural- "One Baltimore, Many Faces."

Through the Art At Work Program, young people from the city spend five weeks painting their way through communities. They work as apprentices and study under artists -- like Rasheem -- while learning about the power of art and honoring their self-expression.

"We have so many students who are aspiring artists themselves, Rasheem said. "For them to have this experience to learn a skill and then to see that they have actually added value, and that they are appreciated for their artistic expression, it's extremely gratifying."

Rasheem believes art like this is something we all need, especially right now.

"We're hearing a lot in the news about all of these negative aspects about Baltimore, so I feel like it's particularly crucial right now to highlight all of the good that people are doing, and also to have that represented in an artistic format," Rasheem said.

The hope is murals like "One Baltimore, Many Faces" will inspire and transform communities while giving young people a chance to thrive and take pride in where the came from.

"I believe in the healing power of art," Rasheem said. "Being able to walk by an area and feel a sense of pride."

One masterpiece and one message at a time.

"The mural acts as something that represents all of the beauty that is in Baltimore," Rasheem said.

Art At Work launched in 2015 and is for youth enrolled in the city's Youth Works Baltimore program.

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