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SDOT's Dahvee Enciso (center) with students from the Duwamish Valley Youth Corp | by Seattle Department of Transportation
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SDOT's Dahvee Enciso (center) with students from the Duwamish Valley Youth Corp

Street Art for a Great Cause


On Monday, August 26, Senior Civil Engineer Specialist Dahvee Enciso led his fourth and final mural design session with the Duwamish Valley Youth Corp (DVYC). DVYC is a coalition of youth committed to improving their community.


This mural, located on S Elmgrove St between 10th and 12th Ave S, grew out of a project with Outside Citywide, an interdepartmental initiative with Office of Planning and Community Development (OCPD), SDOT, Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and several other city departments. Outside Citywide supports strategic collaboration between departments and non-City partners, delivering improvements that prioritize racial equity, growth with livability, and climate preparedness.


The mural is a catalytic first step toward creating the connective fabric of the future South Park Riverwalk--a community vision for an integrated network of shoreline public space that will connect the community to the Duwamish River. Students created the design, which was voted on by the community and students.


The design symbolizes youth rising up in a unified way to bring attention to the cleanup efforts needed to make the Duwamish River a vibrant and thriving ecosystem once again. The river, animals, and greenery in the mural depict the students' vibrant and thriving vision.


Along with our city partners, we introduced youth to urban planning and design, supported them in designing and painting the project, and compensated them for their time. The team completed one lesson on planning, design, and mapping and three lessons to develop the design. They then completed the painting over two days. DON funded the lessons and provided stipends for the youth fellows, while Outside Citywide and SDOT funded the implementation.


The project aimed to empower the youth, introduce them to new career pathways, and create a design that reflected and bolstered the cultural identity and values of the community. We anticipate that the mural will last for about 6 months to a year. During that time, we will get feedback from the community and, based on what we hear, there is the potential to repaint and expand the design further along the Riverwalk corridor.


This inspirational project brought together people from multiple departments and organizations. In addition to working with Dahvee, DVYC members also collaborated with Jackie Mena (DON), who helped create the project, Stephanie Velasco (a private consultant), and Magda Hogness and Caye James (OPCD) to create this memorable artwork.

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Uploaded on September 23, 2019