A Mural of Strength and Welcoming
Check WAA's Facebook page to see photos of the mural!
At a small reception attended by board members, staff, and friends on September 21, Women Against Abuse dedicated a stunning new welcome mural at the WAA Emergency Shelter. The mural was presented in honor of former Executive Director Cynthia Figueroa who led efforts to secure the new shelter facility in 2007, a move that ultimately allowed us to double our bed capacity from 50 to 100.
WAA Board President Julie Mostov spoke at the dedication, recognizing Cynthia’s leadership and thanking Cynthia as well as all stakeholders who contributed to the move. Julie then recognized the shelter’s daily supporters from WAA advocates to shelter security coordinators, whose ongoing dedication serves to make the shelter such a safe and caring space for our visitors. She described the controversies and struggles faced during transition, and identified the new mural as both a celebration of Cynthia and WAA’s achievements, and an emblem of the new facility’s capacity to provide a safe, welcoming home for those who stay there.
Created by local artist Jessica Liddell of Bella Mosaic, the mural’s mosaic design captures the light, making the central text “Welcome” glow. The mosaic’s soft edges and warm, natural tones imply an organic relationship with the walls around it, and it is not hard to imagine that it is the shelter itself welcoming new guests. Jessica took time to engage children staying at the shelter by including their stenciled handprints in the design. One can only imagine the reassurance this friendly wave might provide young children arriving at the shelter for services.
The Shelter staff did a wonderful job hosting the event and reception, closing with an optional tour of shelter space led by Meghan Kincade, Women Against Abuse's Director of Shelter Services. We thank Cynthia for her leadership in making the new shelter space a reality, and for all those who support WAA and the shelter through their work, advocacy, and contributions. We look forward to working with you and other friends of WAA towards our shelter’s future of growth and development. Thank you for sharing in our celebration of WAA’s successful impact within our community.