OTR businesses show support for protests with art on window boards

OTR Art on Boards shares message of solidarity

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Some local business owners in Over-the-Rhine woke up Saturday to find their business had been looted after protests took over much of downtown.

Days later, if you walk though the historic neighborhood, you’ll notice the boards used to cover broken windows are now displaying art.

Kelly Adamson is with the OTR Chamber of Commerce. She says while owners were upset their stores can’t reopen after the coronavirus shut them down, they understand the anger.

“There’s certainly been some frustration, but I’ve also heard a lot of, 'It’s glass, it’s just inventory.’ Lives were lost, and glass can be replaced,” Adamson told FOX19 NOW on Monday. “We stand and support the call for justice.”

Adamson says she was watching the protests and looting live on the news as it was happening.

"Watching windows be smashed in and be texting with business owners. Our heart just aches for them," said Adamson.

According to Adamson, as the clean-up began for local businesses, so did the art work.

Some of the owners are doing it by themselves. Others are using local artists to spread the messages.

On Vine Street near the intersection with 14th Street, you can see dozens of names displayed on several boards: “Names of a lot of African Americans who have been killed, unjustly,” explained Adamson.

Next door, boards show doves and a heart displayed at Pet Wants.

“Others are simply calling for peace, unity and change,” Adamson said. “And to say to the community: We’re here. We understand. We’re with you.”

According to Adamson, there is no set day for the businesses who were damaged over the weekend to reopen. Some are closed until further notice, and some are waiting a week until things calm down.

However, many local businesses are open during the day, and you can still support them by buying gift cards or donating to the reopening fund.

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