Virginia city joins a growing list to paint Black Lives Matter street mural

Southeast

RICHMOND, Va. (NewsNation) — The words “Black Lives Matter” will soon be painted in yellow on a street in Richmond, Virginia.

Venture Richmond, a local nonprofit who spearheaded the campaign, told NewsNation affiliate WRIC they wanted the painting to reside near City Hall and the Capitol where state and local laws are made.

The painting is planned for East Grace Street in downtown Richmond.

Historically, the street was where KKK marches and emancipation parades took place, according to Venture Richmond’s Andrea Bourne. Now in 2020, the street is lined with churches who are showing their support of the social justice movement and mural project.

“There’s a change in attitude in Richmond,” said Ben Campbell, Reverend of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Grace Street. “We are putting it down on the pavement and it’s pointing right at Jefferson’s Capitol so that everybody can know that this is who Richmond is going to be.”

In addition to Venture Richmond, local artists and several other community groups pushed for the project for nearly two months, according to a statement this week, announcing the approval.

“Richmond is ready for this,” said Councilwoman Ellen Robertson, who represents the district where the painted words will go. “To have it at the footsteps of the legislative house of the state of Virginia and to be in the 6th district is fabulous.”

The project received unanimous approval by two city commissions.

Robertson is considering turning the area into a closed-off plaza in the future so, it can serve as a space for open dialogue and reflection.

The organization said it will push to add more creative touches to the mural upon completion, similar to the street art in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Richmond joins New York City, Washington D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina, as sites for the social justice art mural.

The mural is expected to be complete by mid-September.

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