Mural artwork with youth



The workshops provide a framework of exchange, reflection and practical exercise on a daily basis for a couple of weeks. This allows the deepening and consolidation of newly acquired knowledge. A crucial product of consistency is that relationships between the participants become firmer and trust can be developed. From the beginning of the workshops the artists involve the participants. They become companions and advisers in the development of the concept.

First process before process: fantasy and creating visions became elementary.
Secondy, exchange of ideas and perspectives prevailed.Hereby, the conversation included Sustainability and the SDG as points of departure.
As a result of these steps, the concept is developed with all participants.
During the last phase, the large mural is projected as a blueprint onto a big public wall and the work divided among the participants.
By doing this, the whole activity has features of community art.

The artists create the appropriate framework. From the conceptualization to the drawing of the mural painting the participants create the process jointly. The collective aspect has the potential to nurture a sense of belonging and of being part of something bigger. This leads to the next crucial factor, participation. Not only topics and discourse are defined by the participants, but also the entire process is shaped by the needs of the individuals. The participants form the process and redefine the learning space during the workshops by themselves. Thus, an open outcome is enabled by artistic methods.

The artists support transformative learning by asking critical questions about a sustainable future.

The last promoting factor is the visibility of the mural paintings. All mural paintings are created on public walls.

Target group

Children and Young People

Number of participants

Min. 6 / max 20 // number of young participants // 1 street artist // 1-22 trainers/Facilitators


Big open space / big public wall within the school premises or in agreement with Municipality


Recommended „Eco Paint“ colors, brushes, paper, scissors, markers, glue, protection overalls, masks.


To contribute to social and ecological change through this educational activity. To generate and promote knowledge on Critical understanding of interdependencies of a globalized society.

Step by step instructions

Step 1.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Create your own concept and follow these questions:
What do I want to show with a mural artwork?
Who do I want to address as a main target group?
Which artist could transmit my message / my aim?

Does the mural artist have experience in international projects? Is he/she experienced in mural artworks?
Is he/she also professional in educational / pedagogical terms and / or is he/she experienced in working with Topics of Sustainable Development Goals or at least interested in such topics?
Is he/she willing to cooperate in a team and with young people / kids / teenagers? Is he/she willing to create a sustainable work, maybe also thinking of another cooperation in future?

Space and neighborhood:
Where could it take place? Why do I choose this area? What is the neighborhood like?
Who is passing at the wall of my choice?

Collaboration & Participation:
Who could be my cooperation Partner? Who could assist during the realization?
Who else could be involved (Workshop group, neighborhood, other artists?)
When should it be finalized, when should the inauguration event take place?
Is the inauguration embedded in a bigger context?
Is there a link to any other activity in my city (content)?

2. Planning phase:
Check the legal situation with municipality
Get a cooperation agreement signed (artist / owner / municipality / sponsors)

Wall & area:
Check the availability of the chosen wall Is the wall visible for the public?
Is the wall easy to access (also thinking of the participants)?

Check the street situation and requirements to make it a safe place during the painting process (> is there enough space to work? // would it be necessary to „close the street“ // would a lift be necessary or would a letter be enough?) Is the wall easy to paint (not a small gap to the street, possible to put a lift / scaffolding, without disturbing the traffic > or get the permission)
Does the wall has a paintable surface
Is the wall available for at least one year (sustainability)
Is the wall approved by the Municipality and/ or the corresponding offices
/ owners? contact the owner and the district manager to confirm

Content and material:
Contact the artist and explain the concept idea Ask the artist for a sketch in advance
Discuss the space, the wall of the mural with the artist (discuss Workshop) If you invite an artist from abroad, think of accommodation and food, passport and visa

What materials can be used? Please respect our environment.

Process & Schedule - Timetable:
Count enough days for the working process (rainy days) > check weather forecast regular.
If possible, talk to neighbors and explain what is going to happen in the next weeks.
If it corresponds with your project implement participation workshop for getting the neighborhood involved.
Create Press release and inform media.

Step 3.
Production Phase
Logistics & Production:
Get all required material in advance (colors may be sold out, you need to order them)
If collaboration with children is planned, who is going to be their supervisor?
Get photo and data protection rights if needed
Post on social media regularly // invite Press & media in time to inauguration // arrange interviews with the artist or the group involved

Inauguration of the mural (arranging the venue -chairs, tables, canvas / theatrical stage -if a performance is also planned, food for the participants, sound system, electricity)
Think of documentation, naming of Sponsors and funding partners, collaboration partners, evaluation.

Tips for the trainer

A mural artwork project is a beautiful option to share ideas within the community, make art for social transformation visible and strengthen local relationships. But it also contains lots of unforeseen moments and challenges. This Step by Step manual may help you to check the most important elements before starting your own project but be open to the process having its own rules.

Any other comment

The step by step description was taken from the Colors of global voice. Visions of a better Future (CULPEER4change’s mural paintings) handbook, 2021. Drustvo Humanitas was one of the partners in the project, initiated by the City of Cologne and Institut Equalita.