WOOL – The Urban Art Festival of Covilhã is an organization in Portugal that intends to bring attention to urban art. Each intervention, as they call it, includes the completion of new piece of urban art in a public place, as well as workshops and discussions to teach area people about their efforts and their art (to increase interactions between the artists and the community).
Over time, WOOL's artists have realized that the most frequent observers were the retired and/or aging community in that event's area. WOOL also recognizes that due to a global increase in life expectancy rates, the number of aging citizens is increasing and, in order to create interest among this age group, WOOL decided to create an outreach program.
This program is called LATA 65. Lata means "can" in Portuguese and, according to WOOL's website, the objectives of the program are to prove active, aging and intergenerational solidarity make more sense each day; to show that urban art has the power to bring value to contemporary art; to bring the aging population closer to artistic expressions usually associated with younger generations; and to demonstrate that age is only a number.
With these intentions, WOOL set out to make a change. First, they offer classes where initially the attendees are taught about the history of graffiti and urban art. Next, they are taught different technical terms and techniques. Finally, they go outside to share their thoughts and creativity on a city wall. Together, with well-known street artists as guides, the classes take to the streets to bring vibrant color and ideas to the run-down facilities in their area.
WOOL's belief is that by opening up lines of communication and passing knowledge to our elderly, the gap between generations can be bridged.