ABOUT THE PROJECT
Painting for Peace in Ferguson tells the story of the hundreds of artists and volunteers who worked to transform boarded up windows into works of art with messages of hope, healing and unity in Ferguson, Missouri following protests and upheaval in the community in November, 2014. The book had its first printing in February 2015 and its second printing on Aug. 1.
The children's book has won awards including:
"Outstanding Books of the Year" in the "Peacemaker" category by Independent Publisher - May 2015 as one of nine
Missouri Center for the Book's 2015 selection to represent Missouri at Library of Congress' National Book Fair.
One of three finalists in its Ardis L. Glenn prize
International Literacy Associations' 2016 Teachers' Choice Reading List with the highest number of reviews for intermediate readers - May 2016
The book is a complete product of St. Louis artists and artisans. Designed by Robert O’Neil and Michael Kilfoy, the publisher for the second edition is Amphorae Publishing Group. It was printed by Advertisers Printing Company and bound at Jaffe Book Solutions.
In May 2016, Painting for Peace: an Adult Coloring Book was released showcasing more than a dozen outlines of the original, hopeful and inspiring images of street art from Ferguson and additional new designs, this coloring book is unique in that it will include illustrations that range from simple images that young children can master, to complex, detailed drawings that will appeal to adults. In this way, children and adults can color together and talk about the messages and spirit behind the art as well. The book also feature behind-the-scenes stories from several of the artists whose work has been transformed into a coloring page format. Profits from Painting for Peace will be donated to youth organizations and small businesses in Ferguson, Missouri and the surrounding communities.
All proceeds after printing costs of both books go to benefit North County youth, art and community programs.
Author Carol Swartout Klein, who sponsored the project and who grew up in the Ferguson area, was inspired by the Mister Rogers quote that reminds children to always look for helpers when scary things happen.
“It occurred to me that if adults are having a hard time processing and talking about the events — how are children coping? We designed this book to be a tool for parents and teachers to begin the conversation. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, it was so inspiring to see people young and old, black and white come together to transform boarded up windows from something intimidating to children into something so positive.”
Neither book goes into the specifics of what caused the unrest, but rather focuses on the way the community came together to begin the healing process through the art of the Paint for Peace effort. “We did not go into detail because we felt it was important for parents to be able to talk about what happened in Ferguson in a way that was age appropriate for their child and that reflects each family’s perspective,” said Klein.