Can art change the way a community sees itself? Better yet, can art change the way others see a community?

When Artist duo Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn visited the favelas of Rio to make a documentary, their visit morphed into an incredible project to take on painting the communities to create spaces of shared pride.

Along the way, they discovered that barbecuing and paint can go a long way in creating large-scale change.

In their humorous TED Talk (you know we love TED – hear more about them here!), the duo discusses their inspiration for their projects, as well as the many hard-learned lessons they have run into along the way.

Via: TED 1

Haas&Hahn have a beautiful website where you can check out their progress on the favela painting, and some of their other projects. Check it out!

Can art really make a difference?

Many communities are turning toward art to create change. On a global scale, there is a movement to use art as a means of allowing communities to come together for a common goal, or to create a sense of shared pride.

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Many of these projects use art to harness and enhance the pride that already exists in communities and share it with others to break down stereotypes. The beauty of art in a community is that it creates a space for all. Art has a strange and wonderful influence on communities when it is made open for all to experience. It has the power to draw people together, to allow them to tell their stories, and most importantly, to give people a voice that goes beyond words to express themselves.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!



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  1. Koolhaas, Jeroen, and Dre Urhahn. “How Painting Can Transform Communities.” TED, Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV