By Frances Weller | June 11, 2020 at 3:39 PM EDT – Updated June 11 at 6:41 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) –
A collaborative effort to paint a Wilmington street with “Black Lives Matter” is underway. A proposal has been sent to Mayor Bill Saffo and city council members.
Councilman Kevin Spears is part of the effort to paint a portion of 3rd Street in front of the 1898 Memorial. Spears says while he can’t speak for his fellow council members, he would like to join Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, cities that have already painted streets.
“I am in favor,” Spears says. “I think there is a message that needs to be sent out. You know its–I don’t want to call it a trend but its happening all over our nation. I guess its a message of solidarity. People are saying that they support the black lives matter movement and the lives of black people matter so I think that’s important.”
Janna Robertson, a UNCW professor who is also an artist helped draw up the proposal. Cedric Harrison of Support the Port and Greyson Davis, the art teacher at GLOW Academy are the other authors of the proposal.
Robertson says they hope to use Charlotte’s model as the design for Wilmington. She says while many artists have already signed up to help, if approved, painting the street will be open to anyone.
“This is everybody’s mural,” Robertson says. “We are inviting everyone who wants to be a part of it. There are several black artists in town who are going to take some lead roles but literally everyone can come out and be a part of it because its the whole community who wants to let our black residents know black lives not only matter but they are loved and appreciated and an important part of our community.”
The proposal was emailed to the mayor and council members Thursday. Spears says he spoke with city leaders in Charlotte and Washington, D.C. Wednesday who indicated the approval did not require a formal vote there, rather approval from the majority of city leaders.
Wilmington City Council is scheduled to meet next Tuesday, June 16. Spears, who plans to seek advice from the city’s attorney says if a formal vote is required, he has no prediction on what will happen.
“I think its a gamble–who knows,” Spears says. I think its worth a shot.”
Organizers are counting on donations of paint to complete the project which is estimated to cost about $2,000. Robertson says that if approved, it will take about 72 hours to finish since artists will be social distancing and spacing out hours of painting.
Anyone interested in helping with this project can do so by clicking here.
Click below to read the proposal.
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