Council unanimously approves ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural outside City Hall

Drone video shows progress of 'Black Lives Matter' mural outside Cincinnati City Hall
Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 4:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved the installation of a “Black Lives Matter” mural outside City Hall on Plum Street Wednesday.

The motion was co-sponsored by council member Greg Landsman and council member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney.

The mural will be created by 17 teams of local black artists, according to a city release, comprising 60-70 artists in total. Each team will handle a different letter of the phrase that has become a rallying cry for racial justice around the world.

“In addition to the historic collaboration of so many artists on the Black Lives Matter mural, the art is a reminder that the City of Cincinnati takes a stand against racism, against disparities in health, housing, education, and economic opportunity, and for equity for all,” Kearney said.

The Urban League says the paint should last about five years.

According to the city release, funding for the mural comes from financial sponsorship by the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio; funding from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; support from community members; and corporate support from Fifth Third Bank, P&G, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Kroger.

ArtsWave will fund the fees for artists involved in the mural’s creation.

The only costs incurred to the city, according to outgoing City Manager Patrick Duhaney, are personnel costs related to blocking off the street while the mural is being painted.

Black Lives Matter mural underway outside City Hall in Cincinnati

Joining in the project are ArtWorks and Black Art Speaks, according to the city’s release.

“Around the country, people are understanding the importance of symbolisms,” Urban League CEO Eddie Koen said. “This mural, an idea birthed by our former Board chair, Alandes Powell, approved and adopted by the city as its own message, will be seen and heard around the world to hold us accountable to the promises that we make today and to remind us the city that we aspire to be – one in which all black people belong and thrive.”

ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner added: “This is what the arts do – the arts and artists bring us together as a community and move our region forward.”

The city will host a dedication ceremony for the mural Friday at 2 p.m.

The same day, the city will raise a Juneteenth flag at City Hall for the first time in its history. The flag-raising will take place at 10 a.m.

Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas on June 19, 1865.

Mayor John Cranley discusses Black Lives Matter mural

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