Help us complete a giant Day of the Dead mural in the 395/Wedekind Road underpass to beautify our under-served neighborhood and replace ugly graffitied walls.
The underpass is a well-traveled gateway for pedestrians and vehicle traffic alike. Kids and families walk through it daily on their way to three nearby schools (Hug HS, High Desert Montessori Charter School, and Rita Cannan Elementary) and it's a link between neighborhoods, shopping, work, and between the city's of Reno and Sparks. Our Day of the Dead-themed piece will transform this blighted wall while bringing color and, well, life to the underpass while honoring the cultural heritage of many of the families who live in the neighborhood.
Each week it gets tagged and then painted over in a hue of institutional gray, usually in rectangles, waiting for its next tagging. It's truly an eyesore and just plain ugly!
And we're not OK with ugly in our 'hood. Who wants to see this every day on their way to school? What do you think when you pass something like this? Neglect? Poverty? Danger? Gangs? If you just drive past it once in a while you might speed up to put it behind you. You might feel bad for those of us that see this every day or maybe you think you're glad you don't have this ugliness where you live. But when you do live here, it becomes degrading, it nibbles away at our souls.
Conversely, what if it were lovingly painted as a beautiful work of art that celebrated our diversity, that made it a space of joy every time someone passed it, that caused people to slow down, to smile, to think "someone really cares about this part of the world." And, what if the kids who help paint it, the same ones who walk by it every day to school or home, get to say "that's the part I painted" to their friends, their parents, their older brothers and younger sisters. That's what we're after, that's why we'd love your support to make this happen.
This is a Big Painting - each side is over 100 feet long and over 16 feet high! And the lead artist, Asa Kennedy, will be getting help from student art teams from each of the three schools. We'll also have opportunities for volunteers from the neighborhood and maybe even YOU! Asa is an experienced muralist with several pieces around town. Some of his work can be seen here
on his facebook page.
We received a matching grant from Art Belongs Here
to fund the project and this GoFundMe campaign aims to make up part of our share. Here's a recent news story
from KNPB about the city-wide placemaking effort.
Your contribution goes to our Be the Change Project
, a 501(c)3 nonprofit located right in the neighborhood, and will support the artist, the volunteer organizer, cover some insurance costs, and help to purchase supplies.
We've done 5 other murals with local artists along Wedekind Road over the years (including Reno's longest) and a big desert tortoise sculpture at the roundabout. Each piece has increased neighborhood pride, fostered connections to place, and renewed local spirit. We also started the very popular Reno Garlic Fest (hosted in nearby Pat Baker Park) and the Reno Rot Riders, the area's first compost collection service. We're a very efficient organization and do a lot of good with very little money. Go here to learn more about us and our work.
Contact us if you'd like to volunteer.