UPDATE: MLK39: Racial Equity Mural Tour
Updated: Apr 1
Last month we launched the MLK39: Racial Equity Mural Tour where we are partnering with 39 communities across Connecticut to create 39 large-scale murals that represent the diversity of our communities and highlight local and national Civil Rights leaders. With a desire to bring actionable change to each community, RiseUP is also partnering with the CT Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) to host an Introductory Kingian Nonviolence Training. CTCN uses a proactive approach utilizing a comprehensive nonviolence curriculum developed by the legendary civil rights activist and scholar, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., former strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Honorary Board Chair for CTCN. Learn more about CTCN: https://ctnonviolence.org/
This mural tour is meant to lift up activists and changemakers who are often delegated to the margins or overlooked, such as women and local community organizers and politicians doing the groundwork. This project is bigger than just one hero!
Fundraising and sponsorships are critical to this project as they allow us to bring world-class public art to each community while hiring and training Emerging Artists, particularly giving opportunities to artists-of-color. We have received over 40 submissions to our Call-to-Artists and are excited to work with them!
Over 30 communities have begun planning their Racial Equity Murals. We are unveiling FIVE murals on Juneteenth in West Hartford, New Haven, Manchester, Torrington, and Bloomfield. Learn more about our progress below. A live streaming event will be available from each location thanks to a sponsorship by CT Office of the Arts.
Key Partners/Sponsors: The Hill Neighborhood Groups, New Haven Free Public Library, and City of New Haven Dept. of Arts, Culture and Tourism.
About Mural: Honoring past and present Civil Rights activists, local New Haven artists Isaac Bloodworth and Kyle Kearson will be working with paid youth apprentices to complete the mural on an outdoor wall of the Five Star Laundromat in the Hill neighborhood.
A main feature of the mural will be a portrait of Coretta Scott King. Although King is mostly known for her marriage to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she was a racial justice activist and peace advocate before she met Dr. King, and she had a great impact on his politics and strategy. The portrait of Coretta Scott King will be paired with an original poem written by Sun Queen, a New Haven writer and activist who is also one of the founders of Black Lives Matter New Haven.
As a bonus, artist Isaac Bloodworth will also be creating a second mural on another outdoor wall of the laundromat. Inspired by the partnership with the public library, it will depict a cartoon triptych of Isaac’s original character, Joy da Black Boi, who will be seen reading books as he ventures into exciting new places.
BTW, we just spotlighted Isaac on the CT Murals blog! Get to know Isaac and read about his latest mural project in our latest blog post, Artist Spotlight: Isaac Bloodworth
DONATE today and support New Haven’s racial equity murals!
Key Partners/Sponsors: The Town of West Hartford, Concerned Parents of Color, Unity Green Committee, West Hartford African American Social and Cultural Organization, Kingswood Oxford, and the Cantor Family.
About Mural: We are working with nationally recognized and local West Hartford artist, Corey Pane, who will create a mural spanning the entire side of Noah Webster Library in Blue Back Square. The mural will feature historic, national civil rights figures like Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King along with local heroes like State Representatives Tammy Exum and Margaret E. Morton, and many more.
We are excited to announce the West Hartford mural is fully funded!
Key Partners/Sponsors: Manchester's Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation, Manchester Arts Commission, Juneteenth Celebration Committee, and other local community organizations.
About Mural: Manchester's Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation is partnering with CT Murals to build upon the inspiration catalyzed by the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mural on the side of the Leisure Lab at Mahoney Center by commissioning three additional murals.
Nationally recognized and CT native artists Corey Pane, ARCY, and Ben Keller will create three larger-than-life portraits of the honorable John Lewis, legendary Harriet Tubman, and Manchester’s own Dr. Diane Claire-Kearney. Once completed, the mural will be unveiled as part of Manchester's Juneteenth Celebration.
Donate to the Manchester Legends in Civil Rights Mural!
Key Partners/Sponsors: Town of Bloomfield, Dept of Leisure Services, and Painting with a Twist.
About Mural: The mural will be painted on the Alvin and Beatrice Human Services Facility. The mural will depict messages and symbols of diversity, equity, and inclusion along with civil rights leaders and painted by internationally recognized artist and Connecticut native, ARCY. Volunteers will be invited to help paint alongside ARCY during a "Paint-by-Numbers" volunteer day.
Donate to the Bloomfield Mural!
Key Partners/Sponsors: Northwest CT Arts Council and Our Culture is Beautiful
About Mural: The mural will be located on a highly visible wall located at 40 Water Street in Torrington’s Downtown. The mural will be completed by Ben Keller and two local Torrington artists.
Donate to Torrington’s mural!
☮ Call to Artists!! We are currently selecting local emerging artists to work alongside lead artists as paid apprentices. This is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re an emerging artist who has been wanting to learn how to transfer your artistic skills and vision into large-scale public art and one day become a lead artist on a mural project of your own. We are intentionally giving priority to hiring artists of color. Learn more and sign up to be a paid apprentice at: https://www.ctmurals.com/call-to-artist-mlk-mural
☮ Stay tuned about volunteer “paint by number” days! These volunteer days are a chance for you to come together with other members of your community and actually have a hand in painting part of a mural.
☮ Communities from all corners of Connecticut have joined the 39 MLK Mural Equity Tour including New Haven, West Hartford, Manchester, Torrington and Pomfret. Get your town involved by signing up: https://www.ctmurals.com/mlkmurals