Painting a New Picture of Community

I couldn’t be more proud of one of our CENTURY 21 Canada system members this week, as he garners media attention for an unusual community project he’s leading.

David Yetman, broker/owner of Century 21 Team One Realty Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has whole-heartedly embraced the popular adage, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” - with the intention of turning something unfavourable into something wonderful and community-based.

A victim of vandalism caused by anonymous locals spray painting other people’s property, Yetman’s business was suffering about $10,000 worth of damages due to tagging and broken windows.

So he made a call.... not to the police, but to the community arts facilitator of Halifax regional municipality. She brought him two local artists: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design  student, Ben Swinden, to spray paint a mural on one wall of Yetman’s office walls; and Shawn Boucher, a recent graduate of automotive collision repair and refinishing from the Nova Scotia Community College. to bring his artist interpretation to another wall.

To show support for local talent – and give a leg up to Halifax youth - the two artists’ bios and their contact information is showcased on the Facebook page of Century 21 Team One Realty.

And no – there is not a single CENTURY 21 logo anywhere in the mural. “We opted not to go the corporate route...We're trying to send a message basically that this is art, and this should be viewed as art,” Yetman told Halifax news website, The Coast.

“Usually it’s a bit difficult to convince businesses that a graffiti-style mural is the best thing to deter the vandalism,” says artist Ben Swinden. He hopes that the example of the Century 21 realtor will inspire other businesses to embrace the graffiti solution, too.

But CENTURY 21 realtor David Yetman didn’t want to stop with a single graffiti project; he and his colleages have decided to start a competition for local artists to change the look of his office building twice a year – every spring and fall.

I applaud the efforts of David Yetman and his team at Century 21 Team One Realty for being so progressive and community-focused. Leading by example, they have demonstrated that keeping an open mind leads to great ideas, that involvement and cooperation leads to solutions.

Is there a situation in your neighbourhood that could use your leadership to improve the local community experience?

1 Comment

  1. Paulette Upshall 08/03/2010 at 9:09 AM

    Fantastic - Love working for this forward office!!

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