Mural to grace Glendale Family Advocacy Center

“Rising Together” is to set a precedent of hope for the hundreds of victims the Glendale Family Advocacy Center assists. (Mojgan Vahabzadeh/Submitted)

An inspirational mural will soon welcome victims as they enter the Glendale Family Advocacy Center.

The mural — which shares a message of overcoming adversity — measures 1,500 square feet, and is expected to be completed by September.

Lt. Rachael Bousman of the special victims unit said the center has been discussing the mural since they moved into the building roughly 10 years ago.

“It’s a beautiful, big wall,” Bousman said. “That alley is used all the time by a lot of people for foot traffic. It’s just a beautiful blank canvas to put that mural on, it’ll look gorgeous there.”

The Glendale Family Advocacy Center handles child crimes such as abuse, sexual abuse, pornography and endangerment and all adult sex, elder abuse and domestic violence crimes. Hundreds of victims are helped monthly.

“We see a lot of victims here who are having the worst day of their lives and we provide services as far as the investigative, but then we also provide services to make those victims whole again or get them on the path to getting recovery or health,” Bousman said.

For starters, Bousman went to Mojgan Vahabzadeh, Glendale’s arts and culture program manager.

“Our main mission and goal are to incorporate public art for place making for our residents and visitors in publicly acceptable spaces,” Vahabzadeh said of the team.

From there, Vahabzadeh took the idea to the Glendale public arts commission. Those officials voted unanimously to approve the mural project.

Artists Miguel Angel Godoy and Edgar Fernandez were selected from a pool of 18 applicants.

The team will use a parachute-type material as a canvas, a practice that Vahabzadeh said will elongate the mural’s shelf life. She said typically, murals last 10 years, she hopes this will last much longer.

Dubbed “Rising Together,” the mural will inform victims and the public of the center’s goals, Bousman said.

“We wanted to do something to pay tribute to the victims of crime and just kind of honor them and their journey,” Bousman said. “Something to talk about the struggles and strength that they have, but also to just let people know what we do here at the advocacy center.”

Upon the mural’s completion, Vahabzadeh said a public event will soon be planned to celebrate the mural and its purpose.

“We just hope it brings awareness to what we do at the advocacy center,” Bousman said. “We want people to know that we want to partner with the community to show people that we have a way to help people that are in need. If you’re a victim of a crime in Glendale, we’re here to help you.

“They can be strong, they can be brave, they can be a survivor, they can overcome this adversity. We don’t want people who are the victim of a crime to feel this hopelessness. We want people to know that they can survive, and they can thrive, and they can get help and resources.”