Our Process

NYCMAP uses a three-phased process to ensure our murals reflect and honor the history, values, and experiences of diverse communities.



First, we select and partner with a community-based organization (CBO) and a lead muralist in different neighborhoods. During this phase we begin our outreach to local groups and leadership, introducing the project to the community. Through weekly arts workshops held at each CBO with a core group of participants, and larger community-wide events, we forge relationships and build trust with the people and organizations in the neighborhood. At the end of our discovery, we have uncovered stories and ideas for each mural’s theme.

View photos from our workshops



Next, the artist transforms the themes from our Discover phase into the beginnings of a mural design. Through community engagement events, continued arts workshops, and design reviews, residents, organizations, and community leadership help craft the mural design. We share the mural design with the broader public during a series of community design reviews to listen and learn from community members. The artist will then incorporate the community’s feedback into the design. Once community organizations and local residents sign-off on the mural designs, we are ready to paint!

View photos from our community events



Finally, we begin making the murals. At our Community Paint Fests, everyone in the neighborhood is invited to paint sections of the mural. We print the approved design on large, paint-by-number canvases, so people of all ages and artistic abilities can paint sections of the mural together. Afterwards, we install the murals onto nearby walls, and host ribbon cutting ceremonies to celebrate the process with each community. Once we have installed our murals, hundreds of hands have come together to create a public work of art. A lasting reminder of the work we can do together and the ways we can support each other's mental health.

View our murals