Sections of three streets in the greater downtown area are among a half-dozen throughout the city that will be painted with privately-funded murals this Saturday to publicize the Black Lives Matter movement.
The “KC Art on the Block: A Black Lives Matter Project” is being organized by a variety of local groups including the NAACP, Urban League, the City of Kansas City and the Troost Market Collective.
Gwen Grant, executive director of the Urban League of Greater KC, said the project was spurred by the May 25th murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis May 31 while in police custody, according to a press release.
Four officers have been charged in connection with the case, one with second degree murder.
“As we fight for justice and equality, we hope that every Black child, every Black American, walking by or driving on these streets will know that their lives matter,” Grant said in a statement.
The greater downtown street mural locations are 10th and Baltimore, 18th and Vine, and 31st and Troost. The other locations are 63rd and Troost, 63rd and Brookside Boulevard, and NW Briarcliff Parkway and North Mulberry.
The murals will be applied from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and the public is invited and encouraged to participate as space safely allows. The NAACP also will provide community voter registration opportunities at each site.
The street mural artists selected for the project include Avrion Jackson, Adrianne Clayton, Harold Smith, Vivian Wilson Bluett, Michael Toombs and Warren ‘Stylez’ Harvey.
A fundraising effort is underway for the project, and sponsorships and individual donations are welcome, according to the release. The money will be used to help pay for a series of “vertical” Black Lives Matter building murals to be managed by the Urban League.
“This is privately funded project and we’re currently engaged in a robust fundraising effort to pay for the materials and the artists,” said Damian Lair, one of the organizers.
“The KC Art on the Block: A Black Lives Matter Project is harnessing the power of art and community to draw attention to recent and ongoing systematic racism committed against our Black citizens,” according to the release.
“Organizers are amplifying Kansas City’s commitment to the national conversation about race and aim to catalyze lasting change and generate further momentum around racial equity.”
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