CINCINNATI (Cincinnati Enquirer) - Cincinnati is going to be the latest city with a “Black Lives Matter” mural.
Board members of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio are being tight-lipped about the design but 16 artists will contribute to the mural, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer. All of the artists are local and Black.
Each artist will be responsible for creating a letter. "It was really and truly just a way to say, how do we move forward? How do we remember that this is bigger than just policing?" said Alandes Powell, an Urban League board member and organizer of the mural. "If we do it right, people are going to change too."
The 16 artists are calling their group “Black Art Speak.”
The public will be able to watch the mural being painted but there will be a barrier to keep crowds away amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We do want public support, we want people to be excited about it but they’re also going to have wait to see it," said Tashawna Thomas-Otabil, another Urban League board member who is helping organize the mural.
The Urban League is looking for volunteers and also accepting donations on a GoFundMe page.
The page has raised over $2,000 as of Tuesday at 1 p.m. The money will go toward paint, as well as food, water and payments for the artists. Organizers are accepting packaged food and water donations and are looking for a port-a-potty for the artists to use.
Artists will gather to paint the mural on Plum Street in front of City Hall, 801 Plum, at 4 p.m. Wednesday. This is not open to the public and streets will be blocked off, Powell said.
The street in front of City Hall was chosen as the location because it is where policy in Cincinnati is set, said Powell.
She hopes to do more “Black Lives Matter” murals across the city. ArtsWave and ArtsWork are also getting involved with the presentation, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The mural will use the same type of paint that was used on the Purple People Bridge. Powell says the mural should last at least five years. “It isn’t the flavor of the month, it is significant,” Powell said.
The artists will finish painting on Thursday and unveil the mural to the public on Friday at 2 p.m. Friday is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, a day celebrating when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. There were not many Union soldiers in Texas so it took two years for news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas.
“It’s not just about a moment, it’s not just about today, it is about the future,” Powell said.
Plum Street will be closed to traffic between Eighth and Ninth streets so the artists can create the mural, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Powell said, “The next stop is we’re trying to get a street name and that’s already in the works. It’s gone from sadness to making this the next pivotal moment for us to talking about solutions, healing and changing hearts.”