“In 2016, City staff began investigating the feasibility of creating a safe and legal graffiti/urban art space in Oshawa. A process was initiated to review best practices and to identify a location for this type of graffiti wall where artists could create and express themselves through art.
As part of this review, a group of community stakeholders consisting of artists, social service workers, educators, and social justice advocates in Durham Region were brought together in collaboration with City staff to support informed decision-making and to make recommendations to support this initiative. As a result, the Donevan Art Park was created.
The involvement of these stakeholders in the creation of the wall, Paint the Park events, and positive messages for the community has been imperative to its success.
These champions and advocates believe that Urban Art offers more than aesthetic beauty, that it has the ability to examine social and political influences that obstruct freedom and equality within our community. As identified in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary, or artistic production of which they are the author.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
It is the hope of this group of community stakeholders that the legal graffiti wall at Donevan Skate Park acts as a step forward in elevating this Declaration from a written ideal to a lived reality.” City of Oshawa
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