Alongside Lavazza and London Metropolitan University, we are aiming to inspire young people in north London to dream big with the launch of a new mural.
The mural marks the first artistic expression of ours and Lavazza’s ongoing initiative – Learn to Dream – which aims to motivate local youths with an array of engaging activities, released throughout the year.
The eye-catching dual-wall mural, titled Learn to Dream and painted by artist Gabriel Pitcher and arts collective Wood Street Walls, is inspired by young people in the local community and represents our shared goal of supporting and encouraging north Londoners in their ambitions. As a visual representation of this commitment, the mural seeks to leave a permanent mark and foster a forward-thinking environment.
North Londoners, London Metropolitan University students and football supporters will all be able to enjoy the new mural, as the over 1,800 square foot artwork stands in pride of place opposite the entrance to Emirates Stadium. It is also connected to the arts app ‘Smartify’ which allows supporters to scan a QR code to learn more and get access to a wider online gallery of inspiring stories, photographed by London-based photographer Jake Green, whose portraits have formed the basis of the murals.
Through the power of art, the mural showcases two young people whose stories are tied to north London - Maria Epam and Lee McEwan. “Being chosen as a subject for the mural is such an honour. I regularly volunteer to work on creative projects, so I feel deeply connected to community projects that seek to inspire young people,” said Maria, an Art and Design student at the London Metropolitan University.
Featured alongside her is Lee McEwan, former participant of Lavazza and Arsenal’s 'A Cup of Learning' project, which seeks to promote long-term employment opportunities by upskilling young people through barista-training programmes in north London. Lee comments: “A Cup of Learning opened a lot of doors for me, so I am especially privileged to take part in another project with Lavazza and Arsenal. It’s amazing to see myself as an inspiration for people in the area I was born and raised in.”
Pietro Mazzà, General Manager UK and Regional Director UK & Nordics at Lavazza Group said: “The Learn to Dream project is a testament to the joint commitment of Lavazza and Arsenal to promoting and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The mural is a tangible example of our initiatives aimed to inspire the younger generations to strive for and work towards a better future.
"We started with our A Cup of Learning programme, which will be further expanded in 2023, and we will continue to develop projects that encourage meaningful change in the local community, together with Arsenal, as well as London Metropolitan University.”
The mural is painted on the walls of London Metropolitan University, a key new partner for Lavazza. Sophie Cloutterbuck, Director of London Engagement at London Met, added: ‘London Met is home to a welcoming community of inspiring and determined students, teachers and innovative thinkers. We have numerous initiatives that support and inspire those in the local area, and we want our environment and partnerships to embody our ethos and commitment.
"The Learn to Dream mural is just the starting point of a wider partnership with Lavazza, driving positive change in the community through the London Met Lab: Empowering London."
Juliet Slot, our Chief Commercial Officer, said: "The Learn to Dream mural is a fantastic way to leave a permanent and inspiring reminder of what we can all achieve when we work together. We are proud to be working with our partners on initiatives that create real opportunities in our local community, and we’re looking forward to building on this with Lavazza."
Our Learn to Dream initiative is driven by a joint commitment to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and inspired by two key goals, in particular; goal number 8, which seeks to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. As a measure of the brand’s commitment, Lavazza has further strengthened its relationship with our women's team by continuing to sponsor them for the 2022/23 season.
In addition to serving great coffee at unmissable matches, Lavazza and Arsenal are also relaunching the A Cup of Learning programme for 2023, which offers disadvantaged young people in the area the chance to receive formal barista training at the Lavazza Training Centre in Uxbridge alongside employment opportunities.
Since 2017, the year in which A Cup of Learning was born, 300 people have benefited from the programme, acquiring the necessary skills to enter the working world in many countries, including Italy, the Dominican Republic, India, Albania, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Ecuador, United Kingdom and Australia.