Center for Urban Studies Helps Buffalo Schoolchildren Create Mural Honoring their Neighborhood

The project to create this mural honoring the Fruit Belt was spearheaded by the Center for Urban Studies' Community as Classroom Project. Photo: Buffalo Public Schools

The project to create this mural honoring the Fruit Belt was spearheaded by the Center for Urban Studies' Community as Classroom Project. Photo: Buffalo Public Schools

By Cory Nealon

Published October 7, 2014

A mural honoring the Fruit Belt that was created by dozens of Buffalo Public School students working with the Center for Urban Studies was recently unveiled as part of the renaming ceremony of Public School No. 37.

The school, the former Futures Academy, now is known as the Marva J. Daniel Futures Preparatory School in honor of its former principal.

Roughly 50 students from fifth to eighth grades worked last school year with Augustina Droze, a graduate student in UB’s Department of Art, to create the work of art. Droze has painted murals in Buffalo and other cities.

The unique mural depicts the challenges the Fruit Belt has faced to remain a vibrant neighborhood and emphasizes that the school can be a catalyst for the Fruit Belt’s resurgence.

The mural project was spearheaded by the Center for Urban Studies’ Community as Classroom program, which brings UB students to Marva J. Daniel Futures Preparatory School to teach urban planning and neighborhood development by emphasizing public art, neighborhood building, history, and community parks and gardens.