A new mural highlights the diversity and creativity of the local youth community


BRILLIANT COLORS — Artist Belen Islas, right, with Scott Cardona, shows off the new mural. Courtesy picture

Spectrum Collaborative and the Ventura County Arts Council are sponsoring a new mural at 2956 School St., Simi Valley.

The public artwork is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ youth organization and its community of teens who engage in theater, dance, visual arts, and other artistic pursuits.

The mural was funded by the Arts Council with support from the California Arts Council’s JUMP STARTS grant, which provides art classes to at-risk youth and youth from vulnerable populations.

Visual artist Belen Islas, in collaboration with Spectrum Collaborative, painted a mural celebrating the diversity and many creative activities in which members of the organization participate.

The mural serves as a reminder that Spectrum Collaborative is a safe and welcoming environment where teens can find support and artistic outlets.

Spectrum Collaborative, founded in 2018, is a free, comprehensive arts program that pairs young people of all gender identities and their allies ages 13-18 with skilled performers who mentor them in playwriting, writing monologues, poetry, dance, visual arts, music composition, photography, filmmaking, podcasting, makeup, dance and other arts.

Over a 12-week period, teens work with their mentors to create a work of art.

At the end of the program, young people have the opportunity to share their work with the public during the showcase presentation of Spectrum Collaborative.


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