In the last few weeks, you may have noticed a new 3,500 square foot mural painted onto a concrete retaining wall on 5th Ave. between Fields Ave. and Penny St.
The 270-foot long mural depicts the phrase “Deliver Black Dreams / It’s for all of us” in colorful impact font, flanked on either side by a rainbow array of raised fists–it’s the first of what several community groups are hoping will become multiple murals before the end of 2020.
And more than just creating public art, the multi-phase project aims to use these murals as a way to engage the Columbus community in important conversations about racial equity, and eventually to enact real change.
The initiative started as an idea from Columbus mayor Ginther and city council member Shayla Favor, who tapped the GCAC to find a positive community group able to instill purpose behind the project. They selected Deliver Black Dreams, who is leading the charge of equity and engagement the project hopes to deliver.
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“Deliver Black Dreams is about creating a city for ALL of US, where ALL can live abundantly,” said Deliver Black Dreams creative director Marshall Shorts. “Deliver Black Dreams is more than a campaign. It is a commitment. It is about connecting cultural products such as public art to tangible systemic change that reimagines a world where all of us can thrive.”
Jami Goldstein of GCAC echoed these sentiments.
“We wanted to help create a major public art piece that makes a statement for the community,” she said. “But the first mural is a way to kind of launch the campaign about bigger ideas. The project is an effort to elevate these conversations to an aspirational level.”
The original mural was painted by lead artist Lisa McLymont with a team of supporting artists including: Marcus William Billingsley, Hakim Callwood, Francesa Miller, Shelbi Harris-Roseboro, April Sunami.
Similar to the format of the first mural, each piece will be assigned a lead artist in addition to a team of artists to collaborate with, a move that Goldstein and Marshall believe will provide opportunities for young, aspiring Columbus artists.
And you can be a part of the process as well. A virtual dedication event for the mural will be streamed live through the city’s YouTube channel and its Facebook page (via Facebook Live), at 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 19.