Nashville Mayor’s Youth Council activates first AkzoNobel Human Cities Project

40-foot mural “Unity” is first of 10 projects to revitalize Nashville .

Nashville, TN, October, 2017 – Students from the Nashville Mayor’s Youth Council, volunteers from AkzoNobel, local artist Andee Rudloff and festival attendees worked together to create a 40-foot mural entitled Unity, which will be featured outside Nashville’s Parthenon Museum. The community project, done in partnership with AkzoNobel and its Human Cities initiative, was created during this past weekend’s Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival, an annual event to recognize and embrace the city’s cultural diversity.

This is the first of ten student-led, civic improvement projects that Mayor Megan Barry’s Youth Council will activate over the next two years to help revitalize the city. The projects arise from a $100,000 grant that AkzoNobel announced earlier this year, which will also provide up to 10 academic scholarships for Nashville youth. By coming together with the city, companies and their community, these young people are taking action to beautify their community and make it more colorful and livable.

"This project is a great start to the community-centric partnership between AkzoNobel and the Mayor’s Youth Council,” said Nashville Mayor Megan Barry. “The ‘Unity’ mural truly speaks to the future of our city as led by these outstanding young people.”

“Since AkzoNobel came to Nashville in 1947, we have made a commitment to be an active corporate member of the community,” says Yvette Williger, AkzoNobel People Services Leader based in Nashville. “We are proud to support the Mayor’s Youth Council and all our employees who have volunteered their time to support this worthwhile organization.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council is comprised of students from 23 public, private and charter schools located in the city of Nashville. Members of the group are involved in student-led programs through the city’s Oasis Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to train the next generation of leadership in the city through community service and positive action.

“Students who participate in the Oasis Center care deeply about the city of Nashville, and are working together to create the projects they will activate over the next two years. The mural is a great start, we have a tree planting project planned, and there is a lot more to come. I am looking forward to seeing what our students can accomplish with the Human Cities grant over the next two years,” says Brandon Hill, Director, Mayor’s Youth Council of Nashville/Davidson County. 

Earlier this year, AkzoNobel announced that it is investing $10 million to expand production capacity at its Nashville facility. There is significant investment to increase production capabilities and the company expects to add more than 30 new positions to support manufacturing. Over the next five years, the company will also look to bring additional new jobs to the city.