The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project

SCAD SERVE Paint Our Parks

Entered in Arts & Culture, Special Project, YouTube


The driving idea behind SCAD SERVE’s Paint Our Parks (POP) initiative, envisioned by Paula Wallace, SCAD President and Founder, is rooted in addressing neighborhood needs through meaningful design solutions. SCAD SERVE unites the university community to engage with local leaders, listen to their concerns, and collaborate on projects that improve the quality of life. Paint Our Parks exemplifies this mission by leveraging the creativity and altruism of SCAD’s students and alumni to serve Atlanta and Savannah. This initiative not only enhances public spaces but also fosters community engagement and pride through the collaborative creation of art.

The initiative’s goals include uplifting and beautifying neighborhoods, and providing meaningful opportunities for community service. By transforming parks into vibrant, artistic spaces, the initiative creates environments that promote positivity, wellness, and joy. These parks become spaces where individuals find inspiration, community, and shared values. 

Paint Our Parks emphasizes engaging SCAD students, faculty, and staff in community service. The initiative provides a platform for these individuals to apply their creative skills towards a collective goal of community enhancement. This engagement benefits neighborhoods from Atlanta to Savannah and enriches the educational experience of SCAD students by allowing them to participate in real-world projects that make a tangible difference. Paint Our Parks embodies SCAD’s commitment to social responsibility, community engagement, and the transformative power of art and design.


In the collaborative spirit of SCAD’s ethos, each Paint Our Parks mural is led by a SCAD SERVE Alumni Artist to conceptualize a unifying mural design for each neighborhood. These murals are unique works of art for each local neighborhood and school community, all with defining colors, symbols, iconography, and meaning to each location’s sense of place. SCAD SERVE Alumni Ambassadors oversee teams of volunteers composed of SCAD students, faculty, community advocates, and citizens to fully realize these murals and bring the vibrant works to life. Over 18 months, more than 2,000 volunteers contributed, utilizing over 2,000 gallons of paint for the transformative community effort behind Paint Our Parks.

To commemorate this initiative, the university produced a short film showcasing all 16 beautified parks with testimonials from community leaders, talented alumni artists, educators, and K-12 students highlighting how the Paint Our Parks initiative has positively impacted their local community now and for years to come. The SCAD SERVE Paint Our Parks short film was released on YouTube featuring interviews with key figures like Camille Russell Love (Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs in Atlanta), Dr. Sara Womack (Supervisor of General Choral, Music, Dance, and Theater in Cobb County School District), and alumni artists Joe Dreher, Peach Tao, and Anthony "Mojo" Reed II. These interviews offer insights into the initiative's impact and the collaborative efforts behind it.

The short film captures the initiative’s essence through breathtaking cinematography, including stunning aerial shots of the murals, footage of volunteers at work, and heartwarming scenes of school children and community members enjoying the art and parks. The film showcases the involvement of volunteers from the SCAD community and local neighborhoods, emphasizing a focus on localized engagement. 

Collaborations with local entities, coupled with substantial financial support from SCAD, highlights the university's commitment to public art and community development. With captivating visuals and compelling narrative, the film reflects SCAD's dedication to fostering community spirit and enhancing public spaces through art.

SCAD plans to continue this legacy initiative throughout 2024 in both Savannah and Atlanta with park restoration and mural plans for Cook Park in Atlanta, and Heard Elementary, DeRenne Middle School, and Southwest Elementary School in Savannah.


The Paint Our Parks initiative met SCAD SERVE's objectives, achieving community enrichment through collaborative public art. The murals and transformed spaces demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and foster ownership among participants. 

The initiative’s success is evident from enthusiastic local feedback, with residents enjoying revitalized park spaces reflecting their shared vision. SCAD students and alumni brought professional-level art to public spaces, making high-quality art accessible to the community. Partnerships with the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation ensured strong support and alignment with community needs. The initiative's sustainable approach set a precedent for future projects, demonstrating how art and design can drive community development.

SCAD SERVE Paint Our Parks murals include the following locations in Atlanta and Savannah: Arthur Langford, Jr. Park by artist Emily Eldridge; Mozley Park by artist Carla Contreras; Adair Park I by artist Alex Waggoner; Adair Park II by artists Joseph Veazey and Dohyun “Odni” Lim; Sara J. Gonzalez Park by artist José Ray; Howell Park by artist Drew Borders; Thomasville Heights Recreation Center by artist Alexandria Hall; Stone Hogan Park by artist Nina Robinson; Usher-Collier Elementary School by artist Alexandria Hall; Decatur Cooperative Ministry; Coastal Middle School by artist Peach Tao; Greenbriar Children’s Center by artist Chris Nickels; Hodge Elementary School by artist Joe Dreher; Savannah Jewish Educational Alliance by artist Melyssa Amann; W.W. Law Community Center by artist Anthony “Mojo” Reed II; and Southwest Middle School by artist Cherry Chandra.


Video for SCAD SERVE Paint Our Parks

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)


Entry Credits