MBTA warms to plan for Fields Corner mural

The MBTA - facing an ongoing battle with graffiti near its Fields Corner station -all but jumped on a request for space to paint a mural there from the domestic violence prevention organization Close to Home recently.

"When the general manager got this in, this is something he wanted to do anyway, coming from a good community organization" said GM Daniel Grabauskas's chief of staff Kris Erickson. "But when we found out later that it would also be a benefit to us, it sounded like a slam dunk."

Members of Close to Home, including some of the youth who are slated to take on painting duties, were scheduled to meet with T officials yesterday to look at possible sites for the artwork. "We've had the design for a year now and we've been looking for a place," said Elizabeth Reardon, manager of Close to Home's youth program. "It's based on the idea that a healthy community is one who talks about domestic violence and about healthy relationships."

In October, 2007, Close to Home was tapped by Gov. Deval Patrick and first lady Dianne Patrick as a model for best practices in the domestic violence prevention field. Since then director Aimee Thompson and crew have secured a $300,000 grant from the James Trust to teach those practices to organizations of their own choosing in three pilot communities, Martha's Vineyard, Brockton and Metro West. The process is expected to take five years. "The homicide rate for domestic violence is at an incredible high," said Thompson. "Last year there were 55 deaths [in the state] in one year related to domestic violence. It really is time to think about the role community members can play in this."