Project Description

Millersville University's Latino Community Mural Project explores the stories of the Latino community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The project was led by artist-in-residence Michelle Angela Ortiz in partnership with students enrolled in Dr. Christine Filippone's Contemporary Art course and students in Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy's African American and Latino educational experiences course. [Read More]

As part of the community arts process, Ortiz led the Millersville University students in the documentation of community stories through audio and video interviews. From civic leaders to abuelitas, the students interviewed community members who shared their stories as Latinos living in Lancaster. Ortiz characterized the project as follows:

"The goal was to have the students take a step out of the classroom and studio and interact with the community. To break away from traditional academic structured lessons and challenge them to learn in a different way. I wanted the students to examine any stereotypes they might have of the Latino community and see themselves as the common thread to the community members they were interviewing. The murals are a culmination of the stories that the students collected- they are stories of survival, struggle, triumph and hope. The students were an integral part in the process along with the community members who opened their doors to share their stories. Overall, this project gives the Latino community a voice and presence in Lancaster, and the students an opportunity to learn the community arts process and see the true essence of the people with whom they connected."

Professor Filippone explained, "A primary objective of this project is collaboration and community engagement for Millersville's often culturally isolated student population and members of the Latino community."

The interviews will remain in the permanent archive of the Latino Studies Department. The end result of the project was the creation of two digital murals that represent the stories and images collected by the students. One mural will be installed in the Student Union Center (SMC), South George Street, Millersville University and the other at Clipper Magazine Stadium, North Prince and West Clay Streets, Lancaster City.

The following provided support for the MU/ Community Mural Project:

The printing of the Clipper Stadium mural was supported in full by Lamar Advertising, York/ Lancaster, PA, and the printing of the SMC mural was supported in full by Sign-a-Rama on Columbia Avenue, Lancaster.

The project was also supported by the Society on Latino Affairs, the University Theme Committee, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Latina/o Studies Minor.

This website was built by Aaron Chu under the supervision of James Pannafino for the MU/ Latino Community Mural Project.

Poster design was provided by Aaron Chu, Michelle Winey and Anthony Paprella for the course Design for Social Equity taught by Nancy Mata (2011).

Installation of the Barnstormers mural was provided by Lancaster Barnstormers.

Artist's Bio

Michelle Angela Ortiz

As an arts educator, Ortiz uses the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. She has designed over 30 large scale public works nationally and internationally, including Mexico, Fiji, Ecuador and Costa Rica) with community members ranging in age from 3-65. She was selected by the US Embassy Cultural Envoy Program to train local artists in techniques for engaging communities in the arts in Suva Fiji and embattled Juarez Mexico, a community affected by flooding, violence and drugs. Ortiz was the recipient of the Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant (2006) and Transformation Award (2009) honoring her 10 years in art and social change.

Dr. Christine Filippone

Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy

Dr. Christine Filippone

Dr. Christine Filippone, Assistant Professor of Art History worked for eight years as executive director and artistic director of non-profit arts organizations, which included planning and implementing extensive National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), MidAtlantic Arts Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts supported artist residencies and public art projects. She co-conceived and implemented The Digital Mural Project in collaboration with Philadelphia Mural Arts Program director Jane Golden, which included three artist residencies with inner-city schools, culminating in the creation of three collaboratively and digitally-produced vinyl murals exhibited at Lincoln Financial Field.




Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy

Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy, Associate Professor of Sociology has served as Director of Millersville's Latino/a Studies Program since 2006. In that capacity and prior, she established strong working relationships with Latino community groups throughout the city of Lancaster. She has published numerous articles dealing specifically with gender, race and class, and she received the Center for Latin American Studies Summer Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009.






  • Sierra Aleman
  • Elizabeth Bitner
  • Ashley Busser
  • Kerrin Giovanelli
  • Jennifer Hoppe
  • Ariel Hughes
  • Henry Innacola
  • Gabriella Kime
  • William Langelius-Thompson
  • Eric Lloyd
  • Kellie McCollum
  • Lauren Ricapito
  • Joan Riggins
  • Tyler Ritchey
  • Gina Sallurday
  • Genevieve Shipley
  • Samantha Souilliard
  • Emily Wallace
  • Jessica Wolfe
  • Nilmarie Mayol
  • Yanitza Francisco
  • Clarissa Rosario
  • Lizbeth Quintana
  • Adelis Rivera
  • Margret Bowman
  • Jessica Gonzalez

Community Members


  • Michelle Winey
  • Aaron Chu
  • Anthony Paparella
  • Hector Santana